Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Polo Montañez

This is a tribute I wrote in 2002 to the truly great Cuban singer-songwriter Polo Montañez who tragically died that year in a car crash. For those who haven’t heard his music I couldn’t recommend it more. The tribute was published in the Cuba Support Group – Ireland’s newsletter Cuba Today.

The Tragic Death of Polo Montañez
At the end of November last year, Cuba tragically lost a great singer, musician, romantic, ambassador and revolutionary in the name of Polo Montañez. For those who haven't been in Cuba over the past two years you probably don't know of Polo. For those who have you'll know his music well - you couldn't escape it. Last year I lived in Havana for nine months and there wasn't a day went by when I didn't hear Polo's wonderful uplifting music echoing through the city's streets. His music, an enchanting mix of catchy country melodies and heartfelt lyrics, filled the lives of Cuban people like no other.

Reading of the news of his death in a car accident I felt utterly shattered. I subsequently received numerous e-mails from my friends in Havana telling me of their sadness and the deep sense of mourning that filled the hearts of Cuban people. Looking back now I realise, without exaggeration, how much my stay in Cuba was defined by Polo's music. Cuba has lost a truly great and humane individual. On his last CD he sings that the last moment in his life must be romantic - I can only hope it was.

Polo Montañez has two CDs, both on the Lusafrica label - Guajira natural and Guitarra mía.

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