Polito Ibáñez 
Singer - songwriter

Polito Ibáñez made his big move to the capital in 1983 to study acting at the selective Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA). One day, circa 1985, Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés gave a concert at the stairway of the University of Havana and the then 22-year-old Ibáñez was immediately seduced by what was then known as the “canción inteligente”. In fact, it was Pablo Milanés himself that produced Ibáñez’s first and most sought-after album still today: Recuento.
Polito became widely known — “only for a short time, thankfully,” he adds — when he composed the theme song for a TV series called Doble juego. Although he had three generations of Cubans singing along to his tune, he admits that he doesn’t fully recognize himself in the song that propelled him to fame. “I made my life difficult a long time ago by becoming an artist of complex communication,” he says.
With time and the mentoring of Pucho López, whom Polito describes as a “genius jazzman who loved Michael Jackson”, Ibáñez brought in pop-rock, Brazilian and Argentinian influences to his repertoire that now spreads over five albums.
Although Polito has filled massive venues like Karl Marx in Cuba, he says that the biggest challenge is playing for a small audience at scenes like Bertolt Brecht, where “you can’t fool the audience with light and sound effects”.
As you might have noticed by now, authenticity is the quality that Polito cherishes above all. He says that his relationship with his fans has always been sincere and credits their fidelity to his ability to put words and melodies to feelings and ideas that Cubans didn't express publicly. “Like a sort of echo,” he says. “I offered them a reflection of the reality that we have lived as a nation and it triggered a positive reaction.”