Leon songs were written in the second half of the XX century and are consider some of the most beautiful written in Latin-America during the last century. He set to music poetry by some of the most important colombian and Ecuadorian poets. The songs are highly influenced by Gershwin and Musical theater of the fifties but also you can fill the influence of colombian folk rythms and of French music...a wonderful mix of sounds textures.
The complete songs of Jaime León are contained in the first 2 volumes of the Latin-American & Spanish Vocal Music Collection.
“I am one of those people who still hold hope that the world would be flat. In this flat world, every person’s merit would be considered on the same par as everyone else’s, undistorted by national, political, economic, and cultural hegemonies.
It would be a place in which Colombian composer Jaime León and others of his artistic accomplishment would be much better known and more widely revered for the beauty and inherently human value that he and they have offered us.
Maestro León himself has shown us the way toward this utopian ideal, by proudly donning the clothes of his native land’s unique heritage while living fully his statesmanlike citizenship in the broader world, actively engaging international musical languages, inventions, and ambiences.
This publication is a small but significant step toward this vision of a level field of artistic access and interaction. A modest parallel to UNESCO’s recognition of León’s birthplace of Cartagena de Indias as a World Heritage site, it holds up its native son’s music as an object worthy of world admiration. In it, Dr. Patricia Caicedo’s honed aesthetic discernment and passion for vocal performance converge with one of the richest veins of Jaime León’s creative corpus—works for voice and piano, in large part based on poems by Colombian writers. The result is this rare gem of published music, a testimony to León’s internationalist outlook and an invitation to performers, composers, and savants to savor this subtle musical blend that Maestro Jaime León has prepared for us. Bon Appetit!”
Daniel Sheehy, Ph.D. - Director & Curator
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Acting Director of the Smithsonian Latino Center