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Memorable Manitobans: Jose Poneira (1923-2013)

Pianist, composer.

Born at Lubeck, Germany on 8 February 1923, son of Alexander and Frieda Poneira, he studied music in Zurich, Switzerland before his family was forced to flee their home and eventually settle in Argentina after spending six months in Cuba. There, he developed a life-long love of Latin music which would later influence his career as a musical performer. In 1947 he moved to New York City where he played in nightclubs before coming to Winnipeg in 1955. He performed with his quartet at Rancho Don Carlos and other venues, and had a weekly show “A Song For You” on CBC national television, from 1962 to 1964. For a period in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he lived at Toronto and Vancouver, returning to Winnipeg in 1976. For the last 20 years of his life, he was an icon in the Palm Room of the Fort Garry Hotel. He died at Winnipeg on 22 June 2013.

Sources:

Winnipeg piano icon was a fixture in NYC, too,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 June 2013.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 25 June 2013.

We thank Frances Kasper for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 31 January 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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