Archive for the ‘Orquestas de tango’ Category

Club Pinocho

June 30, 2020

How was Pinocho Club founded?
In the evening of Monday, July 20th 1925, Mr Felix Zugazti, who was then a 16-year-old boy, got a dozen kids together who were all between 10 and 12 years old. He met them at the backyard of his house, at 3433 Colodrero St., claiming that he had read an announcement on the Spanish magazine PINOCHO. Such announcement encouraged every single Spanish-spoken city to found a club carrying the name of the adventurer Pinocchio.

Club Social y Deportivo Pinocho was located on Colodrero 3451 for this dance with Orquesta Tipica Juan D’Arienzo on July 4, 1943.  The club location today is Manuela Pedraza 5139 in the barrio of Villa Urquiza.

One evening of March 1996, our tango tour group at the Castelar Hotel on Avenida de Mayo made the long trek in several taxis to Club Pinocho, at the recommendation of Carlos Copello.  We all sat together at a table and watched the senior couples dance to recorded music. It was my first chance to see a club de barrio on a Saturday night.  The only time I danced that night was to rock ‘n’ roll music with my roommate.  I didn’t know enough about tango and the clubs to appreciate what we witnessed that night at Club Pinocho.

I was delighted to find these ads that give us a glimpse of the tango history at Club Pinocho.

Cine Teatro Puerreydon

June 27, 2020

This is the site of the movie theater Puerreydon in the neighborhood of Flores that was constructed in 1873 and remodeled in 1912.  It closed in 1989 and was declared for historic preservation by the city legislature in 1998.  Even so, the building was set for demolition and the neighborhood and legislature saved it for a new cultural center because “culture is a basic priority in a modern city.”  El Puerreydon is a cultural icon of Flores.

The Carnival dances at El Puerreydon had six nights of dancing with two orquestas performing alternating sets — Orquesta Tipica Julio de Caro and Eddie Kay and his Alabama Jazz.  There were gifts for everyone who attended.  Gentlemen accompanied by a lady paid $5 to enter; single ladies paid $2.  That prompts my question about single men to dance with the single ladies.  Usually it was the ladies who had free admission; in this case it may have been the single men. Carnival dances were an opportunity to break the normal dress code and be creative, like these women dressed in the style of Carmen Miranda.  How could they possibly dance in those costumes?

Eddie Kay sounds like an American, but Edmundo Tulli (1904-1972) was born in Italy, immigrated the New York City where he began his piano studies, and eventually ended up in Buenos Aires where he performed on Radio El Mundo, in cabarets and clubs. He became a close friend of Carlos Gardel.

Julio De Caro played a unique instrument, the violin corneta. He left 420 recordings, the last of which was Derecho Viejo.

Alejandro Scarpino

June 26, 2020

Every moment reviewing the scanned files from pages of El Mundo by Michael Krugman offers me another glimpse into the Golden Age.  Last night after enlarging files to read text, an ad gave me a flashback to my beginning days of Argentine tango in Chicago.

I organized a Night in Buenos Aires with a special appearance by Alejandro Scarpino, whose father Alejandro Scarpino (1904-1970) composed Canaro en Paris.  Seeing his name in the ad below reminded me of that night in Chicago when guests had the special treat of hearing a bandoneonist live for the first time in Chicago.  Scarpino happened to be in Chicago for an extended visit with an acquaintance.  I hired him to perform a few tangos for ten minutes, but once he got started he didn’t stop.  The audience enjoyed every minute of his solo performance.  Scarpino came from a family of  bandoneonistas, so it was only natural that Alejandro Junior learn bandoneon.  I wish I had taken photos of him that night.  There was someone taking photos that night, so I have this one during an exhibition (before I knew the real tango of the milongas).

La Rural is an exposition center at Plaza Italia, across the street from the new Ecoparque on Avenida Sarmiento where the III Campeonato Mundial de Tango was held in August 2005.

Club Atletico Atlanta

June 25, 2020

Atlanta, founded in 1904, is in the neighborhood of Villa Crespo, adjacent to Palermo Viejo.  It’s a social, cultural, and sports club with a professional soccer team.  I found impressive photos of the club as it is today on their website.  The front of the building has changed since this photo.  My assumption is that the indoor soccer field was the space for dancing in the 1940s, but I would like confirmation from a milonguero who was there.

The ad promised an unforgettable night.  I believe it when there are six orquestas performing tango.  D’Arienzo, Donato, Maffia, and Pugliese are familiar names.  Juan Sánchez Gorio and Alberto Mancione were bandoneonistas and composers who directed their own orquestas.  Stars of film, theater, and radio were also on the program.

The Argentine Cinema Magazine brought their show lineup from Mi Club to Atlanta.

The sensation of the moment.  Miguel Calo.  The interesting story is  Gordon Stretton, a jazz drummer from Liverpool, England, who immigrated to Buenos Aires and formed the Gordon Stretton’s Symphonic Jazz Band in 1929. His name is misspelled in the ad.The dances with recordings continued.  In those days the musicalizador (DJ) had to flip records.  Admission was 80 cents.

Centro Region Leonesa

June 22, 2020

If you have been to Buenos Aires, you have probably danced in the salon on the first floor of Centro Region Leonesa on Humberto 1° 1462.  These ads are from El Mundo of 1941, when the dances included tango and jazz orquestas.  Several years ago the dance floor was replaced after decades of wear and tear.

Try to imagine what it was like in 1941 going there to dance to Carlos Di Sarli’s orquesta with singer Roberto Rufino.  After a tango set of 40 minutes, you could dance to a live jazz orquesta.

 

Organizers had names for their dances, as announced in these ads.  Centro Region Leonesa (Lion’s Club) has hosted dances since it was founded in 1916.

I would like to be seated close to the stage on the left so I could try to sneak at peak at Di Sarli playing the piano, even though he never allowed anyone to watch his hands while he performed.

How did he do it?

June 19, 2020

Read this ad from a 1942 issue of El Mundo.  Does anything seem odd?  This was part of the page listing the dances on one night in different clubs.

As I was copying each ad individually from the page, it struck me that Ricardo Tanturi was performing at three clubs on the day same!  How did he do it?

The first ad was for a dance at Club Independiente which is south of the city limits in the provincia of Buenos Aires in Avellaneda.  The second location was at Salon Augusteo, in the area of Av. Corrientes and Nueve de Julio.  The third location was on Av. Santa Fe near Plaza Italia (near the zoo, what is now the Ecoparque).  That’s a lot of traveling to do in one night for an orquesta tipica with four bandoneones, four violins, pianist, bass player with their instruments, and Tanturi himself.  Alberto Castillo was on the program only in Palermo.  They were young musicians who had the stamina to handle three gigs in one night.

With today’s transportation system, it would take at least 30 minutes to get from Club Independiente to Salon Augusteo, by train and bus.  Then traveling from Salon Augusteo to Plaza Italia by colectivo today would take at least 23-31 minutes, depending on traffic.  I’m exhausted just imagining the planning that went into the logistics for Tanturi and his musicians with three engagements on the same night.

Maybe they hired a bus to take them and their instruments from venue to venue.  Who knows?  Tipically, an orquesta played one set of 40 miinutes and then a jazz orquesta did a set.  If there were other orquestas scheduled for the night, Tanturi could booked for only one set.  In those days, fans followed their favorite orquesta wherever they performed.

Another possibility was that Tanturi had one or two backup groups of musicians he hired and rehearsed.  They all had the tunes memorized.  All they needed to do was take their instruments out of the cases and tune them (violins and bandoneones), the clubs had a piano on stage, and the bass player had to manage his large instrument.

Ricardo Tanturi was so popular in those days that he took every booking he could possibly handle and hired backup musicians he needed to cover them.  Only one of the engagements was early, and two started at 22 hs.  That meant the time was spread out over many hours.  Tanturi had to be at each of the three engagements, but Castillo sang only at one of them.  Musicians need to rest after a set of 40 minutes, so that’s when another orquesta or jazz ensemble stepped in.  Dancers liked and wanted a variety of music during the night.

I’d like to ask Ricardo Tanturi — how did you do it?  How did things go that night you booked three clubs?

 

Tibidabo

June 18, 2020

Tibidabo had its grand opening on April 24, 1942, on Avenida Corrientes 1244, and was open for business until 1955 when it was demolished.  The small salon on the first floor of the new building was known as Club Monte Carlo where the milonga La Pavadita was organized by Alicia “La Turca” Juan and Juan Carlos La Falce.  It was a friendly afternoon milonga which I attended until it closed in 2002.  It’s where El Flaco Dany and Muma began teaching before the milonga.

The restaurant La Churrasquita then took over the first floor space and doubled its seating capacity.  Tango lost another venue on Avenida Corrientes.

This is the first of many posts featuring advertising from the daily newspaper El Mundo from 1941-1943, painstakingly scanned in the Biblioteca Nacional archives by Michael Krugman.  I will share the work that he wasn’t able to finish.

Bandonegro

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.”