DimensiÃ³n Latina was Venezuelaâ€™s premier band at the height of salsaâ€™s popularity in the country during the 70s. Originally formed in the early 70s, a band bearing their name continued to exist into the 90s. They began as a sextet, initially called Oscar Y Sus Estrellas, performing in a bar named La DistinciÃ³n in Venezuelaâ€™s capital, Caracas. After a couple of changes of pianist and a joint album with Clan De Victor, the personnel that appeared on their 1973 debut Â¡Triunfadores! comprised: composer/arrangers Oscar Dâ€™LeÃ³n (b. Oscar Emilio LeÃ³n Samoza, 11 July 1943, AntÃmano, Caracas, Venezuela; lead vocals/bass) and CÃ©sar Monje aka CÃ©sar Monge (trombone/vocals), JosÃ© Antonio â€˜Rojitasâ€™ Rojas (trombone/vocals), JesÃºs â€˜ChuÃtoâ€™ NarvÃ¡ez (piano), Elio Pacheco (congas), and JosÃ© â€˜JoseÃtoâ€™ RodrÃguez (timbales). On their second release, En La DimensiÃ³n Latina, they were joined by co-lead singer Wladimir Lozano (b. 2 March 1950, Venezuela), who specialized in boleros. A third trombone, played by Carlos Guerra Jnr., was added on DimensiÃ³n Latina â€™76/Salsa Brava. Dâ€™LeÃ³n left in 1976 to front his own band, Salsa Mayor, and Monje took on the mantle of musical director. The bass playing slot was filled by Gustavo Carmona. Veteran singer Argenis Carruyo was brought in as co-lead vocalist just for DimensiÃ³n Latina 77/InternaciÃ³nal. Shortly afterwards, the band pulled off a considerable coup when they managed to lure Andy MontaÃ±ez (b. Puerto Rico) away from El Gran Combo with a better contract. For the previous 15 years, MontaÃ±ez had been one of Latin musicâ€™s most popular singers. He made his recording debut with DimensiÃ³n Latina on Los Generales De La Salsa. Sharing lead vocals with MontaÃ±ez and Lozano on this album was Rodrigo Mendoza (ex-Los SatÃ©lites), who possessed a powerful voice with a high-pitched timbre. The same trio of lead singers appeared on 780 Kilos De Salsa. Lozano departed in 1978, teaming up with Dâ€™LeÃ³n to record the double album Oscar Dâ€™LeÃ³n Y Su Salsa Mayor Con Wladimir, then recording with his own short-lived band, La ConstelaciÃ³n. Conga player Elio Pacheco left to form the charanga band La Magnifica, and later directed La Mafia Latina. He was replaced by Carlos JesÃºs â€˜Pacusoâ€™ Guillen. Luis â€˜Pericoâ€™ Ortiz arranged and directed three tracks, including his own composition â€˜Cantante Erranteâ€™, on ... Tremenda DimensiÃ³n! (1978). In 1979, pianist JesÃºs â€˜ChuÃtoâ€™ NarvÃ¡ez and Mendoza left to form the band La Amistad. Argenis Carruyo returned to replace Mendoza and Samuel Del Real took over on piano. In November 1980, Oscar Dâ€™LeÃ³n reunited with DimensiÃ³n Latina for Dos Colosos En Concierto, recorded in concert at the Poliedro Stadium in Caracas. MontaÃ±ez went solo in 1980, while Del Real formed his own band and recorded two albums in Venezuela before relocating to the USA. NarvÃ¡ez, Pacheco and Lozano re-grouped for DimensiÃ³n Latinaâ€™s Producto De ExportaciÃ³n in 1984. CÃ©sar Monje went on to work as a freelance arranger, musical director, session musician and producer, collaborating with his old band from time to time. The only 70s members in the early 90s version of DimensiÃ³n Latina were Mendoza, Lozano and timbales player JoseÃto RodrÃguez, who had assumed the role of musical director. RodrÃguez, Monjes, Pacheco and NarvÃ¡ez and Rodrigo Mendoza reunited in 2002 under the name Los Generales De La Salsa.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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