Cayamba, Oscar Montero
Oscar Montero Gonzáles was born in the neighbourhood of La Playa, Baracoa, on 8th September 1924, son of Ciro and Ambrosina. He owes his nickname to a doll from the tailor’s "House of Memories’ which attracted and delighted everyone and a friend (Pedro Limia, a singer) called him Cayamba because it was so pleasant to be in his company.
He was a solderer at the Omnibus Company but his transcendent qualities were his charisma and his self-taught talents as a singer. It was as the latter that he earned the affection, respect and admiration of his people. Cayamba shared the stage with the likes of Pablo Milanes, Silvio Rodríguez, Leo Brouwer, Félix Varela, Sara González, Vicente Feliú, Pacho Alonso, Cándido Fabre, Tony Cortes, Aurora Basnuevo and other important Cuban cultural personalities.
He is considered Baracoa’s greatest singer. His guitar case alone hinted at his personality, because written on it were verses and reflections about popular philosophy such as:
It is easier to punish, than to pardon I only take criticism from he who is capable of convincing me in practical terms And above all the one which immortalized him:
THE GUERRILLA TROUBADOUR, THE SINGER WITH THE UGLIEST VOICE IN THE WORLD, as he used to call himself.
He died on 5th September 1991, but the sound of his guitar and percussion still echo through the streets of my city, as does the voice of the singer which we do not agree to have been the ugliest in the world.