Thursday, March 23, 2006

OBIT: Pio Levya, Buena Vista Social Club

From the BBC story, Buena Vista singer Pio Leyva dies

"Cuban singer Pio Leyva, who gained global fame with the Buena Vista Social Club group, has died at the age of 88. Leyva, who collaborated on more than 25 albums, died of a heart attack on Wednesday evening, his family said.

"His work with the late guitarist Compay Segundo - perhaps the best known of the Buena Vista group - stretched back to the early 1950s. They joined forces again in the late 1990s when the Grammy award-winning Buena Vista group was formed. Leyva showed early promise as a child, winning a bongo competition at the age of six. He went on to sing with Cuban legends including the late Beny More and Bebo Valdes.

"The Buena Vista Social Club group found international fame after being promoted by the US guitarist Ry Cooder, and featuring in a film by Wim Wenders. Leyva is the fourth member of the band to die in the past three years. Segundo and pianist Ruben Gonzalez died in 2003, while singer Ibrahim Ferrer died in a Havana hospital in August 2005."

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