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Diomedes Díaz

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Diomedes de Jesús Díaz Maestre (born May 26, 1957 in the corregimiento of La Junta, La Guajira) is a Colombian vallenato singer and composer. He is one of the most widely recognized performers of this musical genre. His well known moniker El Cacique de la Junta was given early in his career by vallenato singer Rafael Orozco Maestre in honor of his birthplace; La Junta.

Diomedes was born and raised on a farm called “Carrizal” on the outskirts of La Junta; his father, Rafael Maria Díaz, and his mother, Elvira Maestre, were very poor, something that Diomedes always sought to change. His childhood was spent helping his parents and eight brothers with farm duties, while he was musically influenced by his locally renowned uncle, Martin Elias. His friends nicknamed him El Chivato (“the little goat”), making fun of his young vibrating voice; he became part of the attraction for every party in the house.

Eventually Díaz’ uncle decided to help him train his voice and compose songs; Díaz quickly mastered his vocal training and was invited to perform at parties. Eager to succeed, he moved to Valledupar to work as a gardener. He also worked as a messenger and office boy for a local radio station, Radio Guatapuri, pursuing the opportunity to convince disc jockeys to play his future songs. Between 1974 and 1975, he got his first song recording deal with Jorge Quiróz and Luciano Poveda, a well known vallenato group; they recorded the song Cariñito de Mi Vida which put Díaz in the spotlight.

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