Bola de Nieve
|Birth name||Ignacio Jacinto Villa Fernández|
|Born||11 September 1911|
Guanabacoa, La Habana, Cuba
|Died||2 October 1971 (aged 60)|
Ciudad de México, Mexico
|Genres||Canción, bolero, habanera, son cubano|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, musician, composer|
|Labels||Orfeón, Discmedi, RCA Victor Mexicana,Montilla, Sonotone, Kubaney, Modiner, Areito|
|Associated acts||Orquesta CMQ|
Bola de Nieve (literally Snowball) (11 September 1911 – 2 October 1971), born Ignacio Jacinto Villa Fernández, was a Cuban singer-pianist and songwriter. His name originates from his round, black face.
Villa Fernández was born in Guanabacoa, and studied at the Mateu Conservatoire of Havana. He worked as a chauffeur and played piano for silent films until his friend Rita Montaner took him on as an accompanist in the early 1930s. After Montaner returned to Cuba, Villa Fernández remained in Mexico and developed an original performance style as a pianist and singer. He was an elite rather than a popular figure, a sophisticated cabaret stylist known for ironic patter, subtle musical interpretation, with a repertoire that included songs in French, English, Catalan, Portuguese and Italian. He toured widely in Europe and the Americas, and his friends included Andrés Segovia and Pablo Neruda. He identified as black and gay, and was self-confident in his personality, and accepted for what he was: a memorable talent.
He died in Mexico City during a musical visit.
He was the subject of a 2003 documentary which included interviews with fellow musicians, friends, relatives, and experts.
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