The Dominican trombonist was part of Las Estrellas de Fania and stood out for his virtuosity on his instrument, as commented by musicians Joe de Jesús and Willie Álvarez.
Leopoldo Pineda, “Palma Sola” was born on May 8, 1939 in a small batey called Palma Sola, in Barahona, southern province, Dominican Republic.
He passed away on June 27, 2019 in New York City. Due to his solvency on the instrument, Leopoldo was a participant in hundreds of salsa recordings for more than three decades.
At 80 years of age, Leopoldo Pineda, the Dominican trombonist who earned the respect of his colleagues in the most courageous years of salsa, has passed away.
A case of diabetes had undermined his health in recent years and the fatal outcome came on Thursday, June 27 in New York City.
In recent years, Pineda had been retired from musical activity, due to health problems and diabetes.
He began at a very young age to seek out musical instruments. In his hometown, Pineda would often visit a neighbor’s house to watch him rehearse different instruments.
There he began his first lessons, learning to play trumpet and tambora.
He studied music at school for compulsory education and there he developed certain tropical rhythms.
In Barahona, there was a music school where Leopoldo graduated and later, because of his talent, he was referred to the National Conservatory of Music in Santo Domingo.
As he grew in knowledge, musically speaking, he learned to play several instruments, among them, the Saxophone and the Trombone, the latter being his weapon of choice for the rest of his life.
In his native Barahona, he was known as “Chanchito”, but it was at the Conservatory where the nickname “Palma Sola” was born, identifying him to his classmates by the name of the town where he was born.
After participating in various groups in the Republic, Leopoldo went to New York City and there he started playing with Tito Rodriguez’s orchestra in the 60’s.
He also recorded with Los Cachimbimbitos and Los Cachimbales.
He also recorded with Ismael Rivera’s Los Cachimbos and was producer of one of Milly Quesada’s first albums.
Musician Jimmy Bosch used to include Leopoldo Pineda in the select group of trombonists from whom he learned. Willie Colón, el Malo del Bronx, had emotional words for don Leo. Indeed, the Dominican Pineda is part of the glorious history of the best salsa, the one that was born in the neighborhood and that has deeply penetrated in this part of South America.
Alfredo de la Fe posted on his Facebook account: “Leopoldo Pineda, great musician, we played together with Típica 73 and Fania All Stars.
Then he began to walk the best paths of Salsa, being part of orchestras such as Típica 73, Orquesta Harlow, Willie Colón, Fania All Stars, Sar All Stars, Jose Mangual Jr, La Conquistadora, Jose Alberto “El Canario”, Rubén Blades, Orlando Watussi, Laba Sosseh, Monguito El Único and Héctor Lavoe, among others.
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