Archive for the ‘Orquestas de tango’ Category


March 5, 2019

During two weeks, I had the pleasure of hearing live performances by Bandonegro in five locations.  Each one was unique and exciting.  One never tires hearing great music performed by outstanding musicians.  The fact that they are all 25-26 years of age makes it remarkable.  Also that they learned to love and play tango in Poznan, Poland, far from any cultural influences or technical training unique to tango.

Marek Dolecki (piano), Marcin Antokowiak (double bass), Michal Glowka (bandoneon), and Jakub Czechowicz (violin) were in Buenos Aires with the financial support of the Argentine Embassy in Poland.  They are all fluent English speakers, so they will have no problem when they tour the USA next year.  They are already working on 2020 tour plans, contacting milonga and encuentro organizers.  They perform at tango festivals in Europe.

Here’s a preview of this amazing tango quartet.

Photo credit: Amy Kadori Concert at Casa Polaca in Palermo, Feb. 8, 2019


Six years of Cumbre de Tango

April 28, 2018

The first program was broadcast on April 29, 2012, in the studios of Mundo Sur on Avenida de Mayo.  Chino Fanel does the broadcast live every Saturday from 1:00-3:00 pm BA time.  Listen to Chino’s excellent selections of tango recordings on Facebook or MundoSurFM.

Name that tune

July 20, 2017

I began dancing with Enrique Rocenza this year in El Maipu.  He is interested in talking about the music, and nothing else, although he admitted he has danced tango since he was 15 years old.  Deejays learn the music when they build a collection and then program tandas for milongas.  I learned most of what I know about the tango recordings between dances from the milongueros viejos.

Enrique invited me for the Troilo tanda yesterday.  After the first tune, he said, I can’t tell if this is Milongueando en el cuarenta, Cachirulo, or Guapeando.  They all sound alike to me.  I can relate to how Enrique feels; there was a time when I confused El Choclo with La Cumparsita!  I confidently told Enrique that we danced to Milongueando, and that the next tune was Cachirulo.  When we finished dancing the second tune, we were close to the DJ booth to ask Brian.  Was that Milongueando followed by Cachirulo?  He confirmed so.

Later in the evening, Enrique and I danced Juan D’Arienzo.  He told me the name of the first tune, and then when the second one began, he asked if I could name it.  La Bruja, I said.  “Correct, he replied in my ear while we danced.  Most women I dance with don’t know anything about the music.”

Like a step back in time to the golden era of tango

July 14, 2017

Nina and Oscar told me they would be dancing an exhibition on July 13 in Marabu, when I met them at Nuevo Chique on June 20.  I looked forward to seeing them again.  I didn’t know what plans were in store for that night until reading the program for the month at Marabu on Facebook.

I knew I didn’t want to miss this night at Marabu, which years later was known as Maracaibo.  The purpose was to pay tribute to Anibal Troilo who debuted his orquesta in 1937 in this very same venue as it is today.  They unveiled a plaque from the city legislature at the ceremony.

I attended afternoon milongas at Maracaibo before it closed in 2000.  Years later, I attended other special events there, but never heard an orchestra perform on the stage where Di Sarli played and Troilo debuted his orquesta . . . until last night.

Nina and Oscar delighted the audience with a tango by D’Arienzo and a vals, then another tango by Di Sarli.

La Orquesta de Richard Cappz played Troilo classics as his orquesta recorded them.  It was incredible.  There I was, listening to the orquesta perform Troilo where Troilo debuted 80 years ago with his orquesta. I was trying to imagine how it was for the public who heard the orquesta for the first time and danced and listened to this music.  Troilo was only 23 years old.

I met Richard Cappz (center bandoneonist) when he was a member of Orquesta Gente de Tango (Di Sarli style). I’m glad that he formed his own orquesta with an excellent ensemble of musicians.

They finished the night playing Quejas de bandoneon, the signature composition of Troilo.

I can’t believe it

July 13, 2017

I want to know the orquesta of the tanda before I leave my chair in a milonga.  I’m as selective about the music as partners.  I rely on the milongueros viejos for help.

Last night at the milonga…

Me:  Antonio (seated to my right), what orquesta is this?  Canaro?

Antonio: I don’t know.

Me:  Hugo (seated to my left), what orquesta is this?

Hugo: I don’t know.

Me:  I know, it’s Donato!

Then the DJ was passing by on his way outside to smoke.

Me:  Brian, is it Donato?

Brian,  Yes.

Me:  Hugo, it’s Donato.  Antonio, it’s Donato.


Sexteto Disarliano

April 10, 2016


They started out in 1981 as Orquesta Tipica Gente de Tango playing the Carlos Di Sarli style.  I met the musicians in 2006 at a rehearsal.  The older members have retired.  Now they perform as a sextet, still with their singer Hector Morano.


First Tango Congress of the National Academy of Tango in Buenos Aires

September 11, 2015

I read about the First Tango Congress of the Academia Nacional del Tango in a tango magazine shortly before it took place on August 27-29,2015, with time to register.  The purpose was to celebrate 25 years of the Academia, founded in 1990 by the late Horacio Ferrer and housed in the Palacio Carlos Gardel in three floors above Café Tortoni on Avenida de Mayo, inaugurated in 1858.  The venue was the Salon de Los Angelitos on the first floor of the Palacio Carlos Gardel, adjacent to the Museo Nacional del Tango.



There were three panel discussions on two days.  The first panel was TANGO DANCE: its history and evolution with Milena Plebs, Gloria Dinzel, and Eduardo Arquimbau, followed by questions from the audience.  They spoke about their personal experiences in the show Tango Argentino in the 1980s that contributed to tango’s popularity world-wide.

Gloria Dinzel talked about how boring it must be for women to dance a tanda with the same partner who does the same steps over and over, and she added “it’s the same with a man in the bedroom.”  She couldn’t come up with the word “tanda” and Milena helped her out; that’s because Gloria only performed tango with her late husband Rodolfo Dinzel.  Gloria’s comment drew applause from some women in the audience, but I held mine.  Gloria likes flash and showing off, and their videos prove it.  That’s fine in choreography.  Tango for the milonga is improvised in the moment to a specific tune and orchestra, with a different partner each tanda, and the feeling is never the same.  I know that Gloria hasn’t felt what I have from the milongueros who give all they have to every tango with every woman they take in their arms.  They don’t perform for anyone; they share an intimate dance with the woman in their embrace.  If that’s boring, then why do the milongas still exist today after 70 years and welcome so many visiting dancers from around the world?

Friday’s program began with Tango and Lunfardo by Oscar Conde, Otilia da Veiga, Oscar del Priore and Alberto Romero.

Did you know that in 1943, about 80% of Carlos Gardel’s recordings could not be broadcast on the radio because they contained lyrics in lunfardo? Oscar del Priore commented on how difficult Edmundo Rivero songs with lunfardo are for him to understand; not for the milongueros viejos. He said that the 1920s and 1930s had an avalanche of tangos in lunfardo. By 1943, there was a total prohibition of tango with lyrics in lunfardo. The law prohibiting the use of lunfardo was made in 1933, ten years earlier and finally enforced.  La Maleva was changed to La Mala.  Grela was changed to mujer.  Only a small part of lunfardo originated in jails, and most of it came from daily life among the immigrants.  If you want to understand tango, you have to learn lunfardo.

Coleccionismo: Records, Movies & Documents was presented by Enrique Binda, Carlos Puente and Gabriel Soria (president of the Academia) and moderated by Ricardo Garcia Blaya, who I’ve wanted to meet for years to thank him personally for creating Todo Tango, an invaluable website for tango.

The 78 rpm recordings of tango began in 1943, after almost 40 years with other speeds. ODEON recorded tango from 1907-1951, and then turned to folk, jazz and other popular music. Tango wasn’t profitable. Alfredo De Angeles was the first to make 33 rpm recordings with six tunes on each side. Carlos Di Sarli recorded in Peru because it was less costly to import the recordings than make them in Argentina.


Every inch of space in the Salon de Los Angelitos has something related to tango. The display cases are filled with memorabilia from dancers and collectors.


Carlos Puente is the force behind Euro Records.  He meticulously digitized only the best recordings of his record collection for CD compilations. His was a labor of love, not to make money.  The record producers aren’t interested in tango, even though the demand is world-wide today.  You get an idea of how little they thought of tango when all the masters were destroyed without giving it a second thought.


The Congreso was filmed and projected simultaneously in an overflow room nearby.


I took a selfie with Anibal Troilo.


This statue is a tribute to the most notable bandoneonista in the history of tango.


The carved borders of the ceiling have angelic figures, for which the salon is named.


This diagram on the wall is my favorite piece in the museum.  It tracks the evolution of tango orchestras by decade.  It’s an amazing chart for study.


This is the main room of the museum with the history of tango’s development in text with photos and lots of memorabilia.



This is the bandoneon played by Pedro Maffia.


Only one tango orquesta used a xylophone for its distinct style.   This is the instrument played in Fresedo’s orquesta.





The Congreso included the first Tango Book Fair on the third floor of Palacio Carlos Gardel.



Along the stairway are framed posters of tango greats, and I stopped to take this one of Carlos Di Sarli.


The original elevator functions in the palace.  They don’t make them like they used to.


The original tile floors are works of art.


Participants of the Congreso received a portfolio with program, a copy of their quarterly magazine Pichuco (No. 2) and a CD compilation of 20 songs from various record productions by the Academia.


The Museo del Tango “Horacio Ferrer” is open to the public Monday through Friday from 14,30-19,30 hs.  Contributions are accepted.  The Library is open to the public from 18-20hs Monday through Friday.


Horacio Ferrer welcomes all to the Academia Nacional del Tango.

Cumbre de Tango

April 29, 2015


El Chino Fanel and Tito Aquino celebrate three years of their radio program Cumbre de Tango.

Cumbre de tango

December 20, 2014

Approximately seven months ago, Tito and Carlos found a new home with Radio Lexia for their radio program.  Everything changed for them — the day and time, the studio location, and best of all, many technical improvements.

During this time, the station owner Renzo has improved the website and provides ustream for live broadcasts.

They began with a live broadcast via webcam with audio replay the next day.  Now the last five programs are available for listening on demand.

If Saturday at noon BA time isn’t convenient, you can listen to Cumbre de Tango when it suits your schedule.

As the official godmother of the program, I’ve very happy with all the improvements.  I hope you will listen to the best tango radio program from Buenos Aires.

Cumbre de tango

November 1, 2014

Here is today’s playlist for the program at noon BA time on Radio Lexia.  The website has a totally new format.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enlarge the video screen for viewing the program live from the studio via YouTube beginning today.  Each hour is recorded separately.

1- Invierno –  Francisco Canaro  – Pettorosi- Fco. Canaro
2- Divagando –  Osvaldo Fresedo

3- Cafe Dominguez – D’Agostino- A. Vargas (A. D’Agostino)
4- Por unos ojos negros  –  Miguel Calò- Carlos Almagro (Jose Dames -Horacio Sanguinetti)
5- Siempre tu voz –  Rotundo- Floreal Ruiz (Juan Pomatti-Titi Rossi- F. Rotundo)
6- Tal para cual –  Héctor Varela- R. Lezica   (H. Varela- Carlos Waiss)

7- Meridional  –  Victor Lavallen   (V. Lavallen)
8- Mistonguero –  Victor Lavallen *

9-   Dejame en paz – O. Pugliese- Alberto Moran   (Americo Actis-Oscar Rubens)
10- Porque canto el tango –  O. Pugliese- Jorge Vidal (Oscar Castagniaro-Antonio Cantò)
11- Bien milonga –  O. Pugliese  (Ismael Spiltalnik)

12-Me quedè miràndola – Anibal Troilo- Alberto Marino (Vicente Spina-Roberto Daniel Mirò)
13-Pa lo que te va a durar – Troilo- Goyeneche  (Guillermo Barbieri-Celedonio Flores)
14-Bandoneòn arrabalero – Troilo-Goyeneche   (J Bautista Deambogio-Pascual Contursi)
15-Retirao –  A. Troilo

16- Sencillo pero vistoso – Edgardo Donato  (Orlando Calautti)
17- El Cencerro –  Alberto Mancione  (Jose Martinez)
18- La Beba – Pedro Laurenz    (O. Pugliese)
19- El Guri –  E. Mario Francini  (Francini)

20- Canciòn de rango – Tanturi- Castillo  (Kaplun – Jose M Suñe)
21- Que podràn decir –  Tanturi-Castillo (Vicente Salerno-Alfredo Bigueschi)

22- El Taita –  Fulvio Salamanca  (Salvador Grupillo)
23- La Rayuela – F. Salamanca  (Julio De Caro)

24- Adios Arolas – Juan D’Arienzo – Valdez
25- En el rosal (vals) – Juan D’Arienzo – Valdez
26- La ùltima cita –  F. Sassone- Jorge Casal (Agustin Bardi- Fco. Garcia Jimenez)

27- Camandulaje –  Alfredo Gobbi  (Alfredo Gobbi)
28- El engobiao – Alfredo Gobbi  (Eduardo Rovira)
*directs the Orquesta Escuela del Tango de Emilio Balcarce