Oscar D’León

Venezuela also had a roster of talents who contributed a fair bit to Salsa music. Oscar D’León was known for his wide range of repertoire, his amazing textured voice and his knack for improvisations.

He was called “The Lion of Salsa” and one of Salsa history’s best performers on stage. He was particularly notable when he was playing bass. His list of influences included Willie Colón, Eddie Palmieri, La Sonora Matancera and Benny Moré. When he was just starting his music career, he worked full time as a factory worker and taxi driver. In 1973 he formed La Dimensión Latina and recorded “Pensando en ti.” Salsa Mayer, his second group, was formed in 1976. D’León was a proponent of the big band style, doing world tours and recordings with a nineteen-instrument band that included four trumpets, four trombones and five saxophones.


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