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Polo Montañez

The news from the death of Cuban singer Polo Montañez on November 26, 2002, due to a car accident shocked and grieved fans of Latin music all over the world. In Havana, where followers from the self-proclaimed “Guajiro Organic” — a Homegrown Nation Boy — have been hearing anxiously to hourly radio bulletins upgrading his condition, losing registered like a nationwide tragedy. Created Fernando Borrego Linares within the rural province of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, on June 5, 1955, his nickname — used when Montañez was still a coal employee and truck drivers taking part in music as an off-hours get away — displays the green hillsides southeast of Havana where Montañez resided most of his lifestyle. Those same hillsides also formed the background for his infectious make of guajiro music, proclaimed with what he known as “clean, bright, specific” lyrics about like and camaraderie; a freewheeling mixture of traditional isle dance rhythms, including bachata, kid, bolero, and guaracha; catchy music and arpeggiated interludes performed over the Cuban tres; and soaring over everything, Montañez’s raspy, sun-splotched tenor, often in comparison to that of the renowned Beny Moré. Breakthrough by José da Silva from the France label Lusafrica changed Montañez from yet another musically willing hayseed playing in a visitor resort into a global superstar almost right away. “Un Montón de Estrellas,” the very first one from his 2000 discharge, Guajiro Organic, was the bittersweet lament of a guy who was simply so far eliminated that he’d possess flown as much as heaven to lower “a hill of superstars” in the event that’s what his fickle like had wanted. Those that weren’t performing along towards the call-and-response choral finale had been simply too active dancing, and in the long run a great number of changes to guajiro music had been won. Guajiro Organic went platinum nearly instantly in Colombia and was fulfilled with similar achievement in Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, and Mexico. By 2002, Montañez and his music group had been selling out displays from one suggestion of Cuba towards the additional, including a overall performance in Havana to 100,000 screaming followers. That summer season, the follow-up recording, Guitarra Mía, premiered. Montañez was going to head to Mexico to market it once the incident happened, which also gravely wounded his wife and wiped out her child. A posthumous recording known as Memoria, composed mostly of fresh material, premiered in June of 2004.

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