Piper Pimienta / Aug 4, 1939 - June 4, 1998

Happy birthday to Edulfamid Molina Díaz, also known as Piper Pimienta, one of Colombia's most distinct salsa voices and one of the slickest dancers of his day. His name was inspired by his spicy dance, along with his uncle's claim that he resembled a pepper.

Born in Puerto Tejada, outside of Cali, he got his start in the business around 1959 with orchestras such as Sonora del Pacífico and Orquesta Los Supremos. In the early '70s he joined Fruko y sus Tesos and was also a member of the Latin Brothers (with Joe Arroyo), El Combo Candela and the Colombia All Stars. He collaborated on several Fruko projects and with Michi Sarmiento. His styles touched upon salsa, cumbia, funky stuff and tropical dance music, as well as appearances with symphony orchestras. He featured on the huge Latin Brothers hit "Las Caleñas Son Como Las Flores" in '76, a well-loved Cali anthem to this day. ("Cali women are like flowers"). His 1979 album for Discomoda, La Fuente, included the banging funky "Pensamiento".

He faced some serious tragedies, such as the murder of his son and his house burning down while trying to make a career in Mexico. Illness and paralysis hampered his career and finances in the 1990's but he was still highly visible in South America. After winning a court settlement against a person who owed him money he was shot to death outside his house by a motorcycle assailant.

Today, on his date of birth, we celebrate a few of his classics.


Tagged: Boogaloo!, Celebrate Icons, cumbia, Fruko, Piper Pimienta, salsa!, Video, vintage footage


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