Polo Montañez | Biography of a Typical Guajiro

| May 24, 2011

Fernando Borrego Linares or Polo Montañez is a cuban singer and songwriter who was born in Sierra del Rosario, Pinar del Río,Cuba; in a farm known as El Brujito. At an early age he worked various jobs including driving a tractor, milking cows, making coal, assisting on the family farm, and as a lumberjack. In his spare time, Montañez would go from house to house singing and later began to sing in local parties and family gatherings. His guajiro music is marked by what he called “clean, bright, precise” lyrics about love and friendship; a freewheeling mix of traditional island dance rhythms, including bachata, son, bolero, and guaracha; catchy tunes and arpeggiated interludes played on the Cuban tres; and soaring above it all, Montañez’s raspy, sun-splotched tenor, frequently compared to that of the legendary Beny Moré.

In 1994, Montañez formed his own ensemble of family and friends. He quickly became the house act at a resort in the nearby touristic community of Las Terrazas, and in 1999, Montañez signed with European record label Lusafrica after being discovered by José da Silva one of their directors that was staying at the resort.

Un Monton de Estrellas, his most successful first single.


Montañez had his biggest success in March 2000 with his first CD “Guajiro Natural” and the song “Un montón de Estrellas“, the first single from his new album, was the bittersweet lament of a man who had been so far gone that he’d have flown up to heaven to bring down “a mountain of stars” if that’s what his fickle love had wanted. Those who weren’t singing along to the call-and-response choral finale were simply too busy dancing, and in the end a great many converts to guajiro music were won.polo montañez album guajiro natural 2000 dj salsani biography

Guajiro Natural went platinum almost immediately in Colombia and was met with similar success in Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, and Mexico. By 2002, Montañez and his band were selling out shows from one tip of Cuba to the other, including a performance in Havana to 100,000 screaming fans. That summer, the follow-up album, Guitarra Mía, was released. Montañez was about to go to Mexico to promote it when the accident occurred, which also gravely wounded his wife and killed her son. Polo Montañez died on November 26, 2002, six days after being hospitalized in the Carlos J. Finlay Military Hospital, as a result of a tragic car accident in the Coronela zone near San Cristóbal, Pinar del Río. The Centro Cultural (Cultural Centre) on the main square in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, is named in his memory.

A posthumous album called Memoria, made up mostly of new material, was released in June of 2004


Guajiro Natural (2000)
Guitarra Mía (2002)
Memoria (2004)



Artist Direct

Tags: , , ,

Category: Music

About the Author ()

Dj Salsani is considered one of the best Cuban Salsa Dj. Dj Salsani is an internationally renowned DJ who has performed at some of the best clubs & congresses across Europe, she has worked alongside with renowned bands like Los Van Van, Pupy Y los Que Son Son, Klimax, Manolito y su Trabuco , Habana D’Primera, Grupo Danson & Mayito Rivera just to name a few !!!. Not content to sit at the top of the cuban salsa scene in Europe, Dj Salsani continues to move upwards performing the best timba, salsa, bachata, zouk. Dj Salsani has also a very valuable catalog that consists of some of the best latin cd’s (timba, salsa, bachata, reggaeton, zouk, latin urban, afro rumba, merengue, etc) ready for selling, including also the legendary CD of Vitaly Osmashcko y su Timba Habanera “Desnudar tu Cuerpo”.