Polo Montañez – Natural guajiro

Oct 14, 2020


When we write the recent history of Cuban popular music, is impossible not to mention the figure of Polo Montañez.

Without having studied music, this Pinar del Rio son had an extraordinary ability to assimilate the sounds of Cuban music, especially the son. Fernando Borrego Linares was born deep in Sierra del Rosario in Pinar del Río, on 5th June 1955. Although called by that name, very few would be able to recognize, as it is known by all the Cuban people and the world as Polo Montañez.

From the mount came out and to the stars he rise

Polo was born into a very poor family, where his father was a collier. Despite this, he always had music around him, as his father encouraged with the accordion family parties. According to Polo himself, in his house there was always music programs on the radio.

There he heard (and learned) songs from famous singers like Jose Jose or Nicola Di Bari. With only seven years he started as a musician. Beside his father, he began playing the tumbadora at family parties. Over time, he became more interested in string instruments and began playing the guitar. In 1972 he leaves the hometown, Cañada del Infierno, and moved to Las Terrazas.

At that time he forms a small “orchestra” with family members, in which he sang and played the guitar. In 1973 he composed his first song, which was followed by more. But all these compositions ended encased, because he not considered good songs. In the 90 he starts of “professional” way in music.

He made his own set, in which he sings, plays guitar and the tres. The coupling of the group was such that the music was composed just following the rhythm of the voice of Polo.

Polo Montañez´s musical training did not go beyond family parties, as well as the music heard on the radio. However, it was perfectly able to assimilate the distinctive sounds of Cuban music, and mixing them with other rhythms created a particular stamp.

As he came out from nowhere

While Polo played with his group in the Complex Las Terrazas, it coincided with a steering from the Lusafrica music label, who proposed him to record several albums. Thus appeared his first the album Guajiro Natural in 2000. But Polo was not a prophet in his own land, because was in Colombia where it caused furor, earning a platinum record. After this international success, he began to be known in Cuba.

In 2002 appeared his second album Guitarra Mia, who returned to lead the charts in Cuba and other Latin American countries. His fame led him to tour several countries in America and Europe, in addition to sharing the stage with artists like Ruben Blades and Gilberto Santa Rosa.

In November 2002, he suffered a tragic accident where he found death. However, his music has not been forgotten. This is shown in one of the most recent successes of Marc Anthony, with Polo Montañez´s lyrics.


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