An unforgettable night of tango

With 50+ years of experience, Oscar Hector knows how to organize special tango events that are worth attending.  I’ll travel an hour by bus to one of his events.

I arrived before 21 hs., and there was already a line formed at the door to enter.  The entrada was 70 pesos — the first time I paid that much.

I had my first glimpse of the remodeled salon of El Pial in Flores, and it’s more elegant than ever.


Large poster-sized photos of tango and folklore celebrities adorn the walls.  Here is Juan D’Arienzo and his orquesta tipica.


Alberto Castillo and his orquesta tipica.


And Roberto Goyeneche with Anibal Troilo.


This is a large poster-sized photo of the dance floor at El Pial before the remodeling.


I had the pleasure of sharing a table with milonguera Nilda Garcia, who began dancing tango at 13.  She was dancing all night with a friend.


Since it was A Night of Di Sarli, the first 90 minutes of music was exclusively Carlos Di Sarli recordings.  There was a time decades ago when the confiterias bailables featured the recordings of one orquesta.   Oscar Hector is the only organizer in Buenos Aires who continues the tradition.  He welcomed each couple as they arrived and brought them to their table — a perfect host.  When he spoke about the singers of Di Sarli’s orquesta, there was total silence in the salon.  He featured them with clips of their best recordings.  The dancers were there to honor El Señor del Tango.

The lower ceiling over the tables allows for recessed lighting.  The tile dance floor is the largest in the city.


Oh, no.  Could it be?  Yes, that’s Tonino dancing.  I hadn’t seen Antonio Pisano for years.  I haven’t called him on his birthday since he has a girlfriend at home.  He turned 84 on March 12.  He noticed I was filming, but he made a point of not acknowledging me.  Seeing Tonino dance again was another reason I was happy to be there.


I went mainly to hear Orquesta Gente de Tango, which has new blood with several younger musicians replacing the original ones who have finally retired from playing.


Orquesta Gente de Tango performed transcribed Di Sarli arrangements on stage for the audience of 300+.  Hector Morano sings with great passion.


Guillermo Durante plays the Di Sarli style. Unfortunately, he discovered too late that the piano wasn’t tuned.


Mary and Maru were the belles of the ball.


I patiently waited for one milonguero viejo to arrive.  Finally, one came.  Jorge Uzunian lives about three blocks from Salon El Pial.  We’ve danced at Lo de Celia and other milongas.  One tanda with him would have been enough for me for the night, but he didn’t stay around for long after calculating the shortage of potential dance partners.  I was ready with my dance shoes, but I didn’t dance.

All in all, it was a wonderful night of music.  I stayed until 2:30am and patiently waited one hour for the bus to take me home.  That’s the sacrifice I’ll make for a Night of Carlos Di Sarli.

7 years of Tango Chamuyo


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8 Responses to “An unforgettable night of tango”

  1. Carol Conway Says:

    I loved this post. Thank you so much.

  2. Chris, UK Says:

    Janis wrote: “the first 90 minutes of music was exclusively Carlos Di Sarli recordings.

    Good grief! No wonder so many people waited outside the door 🙂

  3. jantango Says:

    They were lined up early on the street, waiting for the doors to open. But seriously, when Oscar Hector does an annual Night of Di Sarli, he draws a crowd of Di Sarli fans. Di Sarli is his favorite, and mine, too. How many DJs have even thought about programming 90 minutes of Di Sarli? Why not?

    Among the attendees were Facundo Posadas and his wife Ching Ping Peng, and Liliana & Jorge Rodriguez (Sunderland Club) with their children Javier and Malena.

  4. Chris, UK Says:

    Janis wrote: “How many DJs have even thought about programming 90 minutes of Di Sarli?

    For dancing? Zero, surely.

    I doubt even Di Sarli played one and a half hours of Di Sarli dance music without a break for something different.

  5. Janet Rieck Says:

    Di Sarli…my favorite. Why not mention that that was Javier Rodriguez, one of the great younger milongueros we are lucky to have as well as the older ones present. His parents are lovely dancers as well.

  6. jantango Says:

    When his orquesta tipica performed at a cabaret or confiteria, they played half-hour sets, alternating with a jazz orquesta. There were nights dedicated to the recordings of one orquesta, and that’s when the fans came out.

  7. jantango Says:


    I did mention Javier Rodriguez as son of Liliana and Jorge Rodriguez.

    Milongueros sit alone in the milongas and dance with milongueras.
    Javier doesn’t go to the milongas and dances only with his professional partner in exhibition.
    How can he be considered a milonguero?

    That night at El Pial Javier danced Chacarera with his sister. Not one tanda of tango.
    I sat and watched all night. Even his parents danced only two tandas.

  8. Carina Spring Says:

    The confiterias bailables sound lovely! What a nice post!

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