Born in La Guajira and died in Valledupar, Leandro Diaz embodies the history of vallenato in Colombia.
Beside Emiliano Zuleta Y Raphael Escalona, is part of the most important composers of traditional vallenato. In almost sixty years of artistic career, Leandro composed more than 350 songs, including the crowned goddess —a couple of his verses are the epigraph of Love in the time of choleraof Gabriel Garcia Marquez– Y Matilda Linaa song that was recorded by Diomedes Diaz, Alfredo Gutierrez, Carlos Vives Y Sylvester Dangondwho, precisely, plays Díaz in the most recent telenovela on the RCN channel.
Diaz’s compositional art reached an enormous skill in description, something that is amazing for the blindness that accompanied the lyricist throughout his life.
One of the most well-known and celebrated phrases of the Caribbean musician is precisely the one that speaks of the eyes of the heart: “I believe that God did not put eyes on my face because he took a long time putting eyes on my soul,” he said at the time.
In the first years of his career, Leandro sang boleros, rancheras and tangos. Very soon he devoted himself to the composition of vallenatos, a rhythm in which he reached the status of King for life, of the Vallenato Legend Festival.
In Leandro’s life and work, the figure of women occupies a preponderant place, particularly that of his wife. Helen Ramos and that of Matilde Lina, for whom he composed the song that made him famous.
In 2019, the writer Alonso Sanchez Baute published the fictionalized biography Leandro, a story on which the RCN audiovisual product is based. The 244-page text was edited by Alfaguara.