Patrocinio Díaz

Real name: Díaz, Patrocinio
(1905 - 16 January 1969)
Place of birth:
Santiago del Estero Argentina
Guadalupe Aballe
| Néstor Pinsón

o regard this interpreter from Santiago del Estero as a tango singer is nonsense, with the Filiberto’s orchestra she only recorded three tangos and a milonga: "El pañuelito", "Clavel del aire", "La canción" and "Porteñita", by Raúl Fernández Siro and José Cánepa. The rest of her phonographic recordings were national folk songs.

She was a delicate singer, a stylist, as Filiberto himself labeled her on several occasions. The writer Ricardo Güiraldes -author of the book Don Segundo Sombra-, a true time painting about the country and its characters, said about her: «For me she was the greatest national folk singer I have ever heard.»

By 1937 the magazine Radiolandia interviewed her: «I was born in the capital of the province, in a house on Belgrano street. In my backyard there were a “tuna” (a type of cactus) and a centennial carob tree. I have an Argentine origin, even my grandparents were Argentine. I attended the Belén school, a catholic institution, and a nun taught me liturgical songs. Then she stayed hours listening to me. Don't you get tired? -I asked her one day. And she answered me that the songs of God sung by an angel could not tire her. Later when I was older I studied music reading and piano, my teacher was Manuel Gómez Carrillo, a great soul. Later I returned to music to learn guitar, already in the times of Chazarreta.

«I began with bel canto. I appeared in amateurs' festivals directed by professionals that were for those events in Santiago. Under the direction of José Osés I appeared in the operetta "De Madrid a París." Subsequently, with the collaboration of maestro Paride Grandi, we staged "La Geisha" and later we dared to play "Cavalleria Rusticana". I was starred as Lola. But I let them down because they asked me to continue with the operatic song and the circumstances brought me closer to Chazarreta. Soon later I appeared in a festival that he had organized and I sang several popular songs. Then Don Andrés suggested to me joining his group with which he would travel to Buenos Aires.»

«When we arrived, to our surprise, no manager wanted to hire us, they could not imagine that a group coming from my province would be of any interest. Humberto Cairo, an important theater man, rejected us. But Joaquín de Vedia helped us and so we made our debut at the Teatro Politeama on March 18, 1921. The whole performance was wrapped up in a wave of applause. Of course all the people living in this city that were born in our province were present, but also there were personalities of the Buenos Aires intellectual world. The first thing that I sang was "La vidala del santiagueño." When the show finished all they wanted to greet me. The press paid attention to us and in the newspaper La Nación, the prestigious Ricardo Rojas wrote: «It was like a choir of the forest and the mountains», and about me: «When she began to sing she touched our Argentine heart.» The popular zamba "La López Pereyra" was also part of the repertoire».

«All our songs had an immediate repercussion and they were included in different songbooks. We were the first company of Argentine popular art that performed at the Teatro Colón. Later we appeared at the Teatro Solís of Montevideo, where they didn't know anything about our repertoire. Our dancers attracted their attention. I remember that in the premiere after singing, a spectator shouted at me: «You really sing, pretty gaucha with black hands», he had referred to the dark color of my skin... of course. The following day a newspaper picked up that sentence and published: "It is the first time that a legitimate native of the brother country arrives at our theater. A gaucho woman with black hands."»

After a tour of the interior, Patrocinio split with Chazarreta and didn't perform for three years. It was when she married the theater manager Juan T. Mauri,-who was associated with Chazarreta- and they had a son named Ángel. The latter, when he was three years old, appeared on stage to dance malambo during his mother's performances.

It was in 1930, when she settled definitively in Buenos Aires. Her real name was Patrocinio, but in her province she preferred to be called Patrocinia. The media of our Capital didn't follow that decision and she remained with the original name. In spite of it in the label of one of her discs her name appears ending with an a.

She had her own opinions about popular music and, as for tango, she said that she had respect for it but it was a Buenos Aires regional fruit. For her, our national songs had to be found in folk music, especially in the vidala, because its essence represents the national spirit.

She continued saying in the interview: «For our return we prepare, with my husband, a great company of American art. The painter Alfredo Guido collaborated as author of sketches and scenographies. We chose dancers, singers and musicians of Santiago and, on the base of an organic plan that contained the different manifestations of the songbook of the north, we made a complete show. The premiere was also at the Politeama. It was an artistic success, but not a box-office hit. We wanted to go to Europe, we were not able to.»

«I returned to Buenos Aires in 1927, to appear in the inaugural shows of the Paris cinema theater, there Filiberto played with his group.» During an interview to the musician, the latter said about the first show: «President Alvear and the mayor of the city were among the audience, I performed with my group of native art and with Patrocinio Díaz, a wonderful stylist and with Julia Puigdéngolas, an inimitable dancer of native dances.»

And Patrocinio continues: «Filiberto was the voice of the pampas and of the city and I, the voice of the Argentine north. There for the first time I sang songs of Buenos Aires. Later I had many performances, until suddenly I am on the radio where I discover the definitive task of my life. I made my debut on Splendid, where I was one year. Later Radio Prieto, where I was a year and half. Later and until the present (1937) on Radio Belgrano that greatly rewarded me. I was in the first airing to Europe along with Enrique Delfino, Canaro, Ada Falcón and others. On Belgrano I joined the cast for the first direct transmission to Brazil.»

«Today I keep a friendship and I visit periodically Santiago Rocca, Delfino, Gómez Carrillo, Homero Manzi. And Filiberto gets angry if one week I don’t go to spend some time with him.»

«If they ask me who’s the best folk female singer, I answer without any doubt: Marta de los Ríos, because she interprets the northern stuff with great command and simplicity. Folk music needs to be kept it in its pure state, without stopping the progress. It is necessary to progress maturing. We are a new country, but we have a musical tradition with more years than the Homeland itself. The northern thing has centuries. I am not fond of innovation, but those that innovate should explain they write creating to avoid deformations. In that, I think that it is necessary to follow the measurements of neatness that the composer Sebastian Piana follows.»

In 1937, she was chosen as the best Argentine folk singer in a crowded theater. In 1938 he decided to include in her songbook folk songs of the countries of Latin America.

In the movies her image was captured in the film Juan Moreira, premiered on September 7, 1936, directed by Nelo Cosimi. It also features the singers Alberto Gómez, Néstor Feria and Antonio Podestá.