Pío Leyva was born in Morón, Ciego de Ávila, in 1915. He began his artistic career as bongo player in the "Siboney de Morón" orchestra. Later on, he began singing in trios and in popular music groups. Afterwards, Pío Leyva moved to Camagüey, where he sang with the "Hermanos Licea" orchestra. Nevertheless, his true professional debut was in 1932, when he joined the "Caribe" Septet directed by Master Juanito Blez.
In 1956 Pío Leyva moved to Havana and, together with the "Sabor de Cuba" Jazz Band, directed by the great Bebo Valdés, he recorded the themes "Chapaleando" and "Sin caña y sin platanal" for the RCA Victor label, both of them resounding hits at that time.
In 1959 Leyva and Valdés together with the latter musicians, visited Mexico, specially hired to perform at the exclusive "Los Globos" cabaret and in other renowned Mexican scenarios, where they were already known due to very popular themes such as "Yo bailo con ella", "Pío Mentiro so" and "Cariñoso sí, mentiroso no". In these songs, Pío Leyva showed his excellence as a true interpreter of the native sense of humour.
Also in the 1950´s, Pío Leyva made recordings and presentations together with emblematic personalities of the Cuban musical world like the Niño Rivera, Mariano Mercerón and many others. During this decade, he reaffirmed his quality as a son, bolero, rumba, mambo and other Caribbean rhythms singer, often appearing in mass media and performing in famous night centers of the country and in popular dances as well. Pío Leyva made recordings for Puchito, RCA Victor, Velvet, Maipe and Gema labels and became an idol in countries like Venezuela, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
In the following two decades, Pío Leyva continued performing at different scenarios throughout the Island, also recording for the EGREM label. At the end of the 1980s, he recorded an LP once again for this label with "Los Kimbos" group, including versions of his old-time hits as author and interpreter.
In 1996, being 78 years old, he joined the Buenavista Social Club project. He made several recordings which obtained a great international success and participated in innumerable concerts given abroad. He also integrated the Afro Cuban All Stars, under the direction of the excellent Cuban tres player and orchestrator Juan de Marcos González.
In 2001, being 84 years old, Pío Leyva recorded for the Unicornio label a phonoghram under his name, together with friends like Silvio Rodríguez, Omara Portuondo, Compay Segundo, Pedro Calvo, Teresa García Caturla, Guillermo Rubalcaba, "Ignacio Piñeiro" National Septet, and the "Clave y Guagancó" group. The phonogram, which includes some Pío Leyva´s compositions as well as of some other authors, embraces diverse genres such as son montuno, rumba, guaracha and guaguancó.
He passed away on March, 2006. Pío Leyva is a myth in the Cuban musical history and his genuine Cuban way of performance, present throughout the world, constitutes a great honor for his country.