Posts Tagged ‘Anibal Troilo’

July 1, 1937 at Marabú

November 21, 2010

This was the date and location of Aníbal Troilo’s debut with his orquesta.  The city legislature resolved to pay homage to this great musician with the placement of permanent plaque on the façade of the building.  The ceremony took place on Friday at Maipu 359 with performances of Troilo compositions by three singers and a presentation by author/poet Juan Jose Vieytes.  Those in attendance went to the street for the unveiling of the plaque and then to the corner of Corrientes and Esmeralda for another brief presentation by Sr. Vieytes (86) who shares his memories with tango.

Luis Zorz - fileteador


Juan Jose Vieytes (Chichin de Buenos Aires)

Chichin told us that the dancers at Teatro Maipo on Esmeralda would go to Marabú after their performances. 

Ricardo Marin and Juan Carlos Godoy (88)

Juan Carlos Godoy sings at La Casa de Anibal Troilo (Carlos Calvo 2540 in San Cristobal).  He and Ricardo Marin sang a duet during the homenaje that was fabulous.

This is the sign on the front of what was the cabaret Marabú and later known as Maracaibo until it closed ten years ago.

Day of the Bandoneon

July 11, 2009

Today marks the 95th anniversary of the birthday of Aníbal Troilo, who is considered by many as the greatest bandoneon player tango has ever had.  Pichuco was only 23 years old when he debuted with his orchestra in the cabaret Marabú located at Maipu 365. 

The national day of the bandoneon was established in 2005 and is dedicated to the bandoneon, an instrument of German origin which gives tango its unique and haunting sound.  The best instruments were made before 1942 and are in short supply these days with the growing popularity in playing the instrument.  There is a Fueye Alert to keep instruments in Argentina.  Young musicians will have to wait for old musicians to die in order to buy a instrument made by Alfred Arnold (known as Double A) or Premier.

Chicago was fortunate to have a resident bandoneonist who was invited to play tangos for dancing.  Jim Sherry ran a music store on the southside and invited Alejandro Scarpino (son of the composer/bandoneonist who wrote Canaro en Paris).  I remember making the drive from a northwest suburb to the southside of Chicago to a practica at Casa Tanguera where Scarpino provided the music for dancing.  The community of dancers was new in 1991, and there was a very small attendance.   I organized a tango event at Chicago Dance Studio in January 1992, with Alejandro Scarpino as special guest.   A large crowd came to hear him perform for ten minutes.  He eventually moved to Los Angeles which had a larger Argentine tango community.

Solo performances of Dia del Bandoneon: Leopoldo Federico, Walter RiosNestor Marconi, Julio Pane, and Juan José Mosalini.

Mario Papasaba

March 16, 2009

March 16, 1940 —

mario-papasabaMario doesn’t exactly live around the corner from the milongas, so there is no doubt that when he makes the long trip by bus from Quilmes to Lo de Celia he is there to dance.  He and Pedro Sanchez used to share a corner table every Sunday at Lo de Celia.

My favorite table at Celia’s is in the second row next to the bar where I am close enough to ask Dany Borelli about the music.  One evening Mario passed by my table and said, “Troilo con Fiorentino.”  Ever since then I know that Mario will invite me for his favorite tanda–Pichuco con Fiore.  He always says before we dance, “listen carefully.”   

It has been several months since I danced with Mario in Lo de Celia, but I remember the night.  First we danced a tanda of Anibal Troilo.  Dany followed that tanda with tangos of Carlos Di Sarli.  I rarely dance two tandas in a row and never with the same partner.  This was an exception.  I looked in Mario’s direction, and he was looking back at me.  We then danced another wonderful tanda together.  I love dancing in his embrace.

Six months of the year Mario lives in Mar del Plata and the other six months he is in Quilmes.  He goes to dance in both places although Mar del Plata is a far cry from the milongas in downtown Buenos Aires.  In a few more weeks Mario will be returning to dance at Lo de Celia.

Rodolfo Outeda

October 23, 2008

October 23, 1940 —

Rodolfo and I have had conversations on how tango is changing in the milongas of Buenos Aires.  I have danced with him on only one occasion at Lo de Celia.  I know when he will be dancing by the orchestra that is played.  He, like many other milongueros, wants to dance to Anibal Troilo and Carlos Di Sarli.  He dances simply and with feeling.  I know the strength of his embrace–that’s one characteristic that the milongueros have in common.  They never separate and hold a woman very close.  Rodolfo dances on Saturday night in Lo de Celia.

El Alma Que Canta

August 5, 2008

I have a copy of the magazine “El Alma Que Canta” from April 6, 1948, the week I was born. The issue has 14 pages of lyrics and was sold for 20 cents. An article on about the magazine provides these interesting details. “El Alma Que Canta was published from 1916-1961. It was the main source for learning the lyrics of tangos heard on the radio. In 1920, 150,000 copies were sold at 10 cents. In 1928, one issue had 250,000 copies. They didn’t publish the next issue until all previous issues were sold.”  Those were the days when tango was at its height of popularity in Buenos Aires. Everyone listened to tango on the radio.
This has put things in a different perspective for me as far as the popularity of tango today, even in Buenos Aires. Argentina was cut off from the world until the 1950s. Today, travel and instant communication have made the tango accessible to a worldwide audience. And yet, tango’s popularity in the world today pales by comparison to what it was in the 1930s and 40s in Buenos Aires.

This is the back cover of the issue No. 1310 published April 6, 1948, with a photo of a young Anibal Troilo.



Cafe de los Maestros

May 3, 2008

Several years ago Gustavo Santaolalla decided to try to convince a group of tango musicians and singers to return to the recording studio and collaborate on a new project. He invited true maestros, all over 70 and as old as 90, to participate; several of them have died(*) since the project began in 2003. First, there is a two-CD set of 27 tracks with background text on the musicians. It won the Latin Grammy for best tango album in 2006. The maestros were filmed during the recording sessions and participated in a concert at Teatro Colon in August 2006. The recording sessions and concert have been boiled down to a 93-minute documentary that was presented in February 2008, at the Berlin Film Festival. Finally, a book for Café de los Maestros will be published in English in late 2009.

My friend Diana has a close association with two of the musicians of Café de los Maestros as the artistic director and executive producer of a compact disc by a tango singer. She invited me to join her at the Café de los Maestros reception on March 13, 2008, at the Academia Nacional del Tango where the maestros received certificates for their participation presented to each of them by Gustavo Santaolalla. Diana gave me the Café de los Maestros CDs for my birthday a few weeks ago.

The studio where Café de los Maestros was recorded is located seven blocks from my apartment. Diana invited me to attend a recording session there today. As I walked the hallway, I discovered that this was the studio where every important Argentine recording artist has sung or played. Estudios ION is where Osvaldo Pugliese, Anibal Troilo, and Juan D’Arienzo recorded. The photos on the walls tell the story, as does the impressive list of artists who have recorded there since 1956. I entered the actual studio, where Café de los Maestros was recorded from November 2003 to September 2004, in order to film a recording session by tango singer Ricardo Pol with Anibal Arias and Osvaldo Montes. I watched and listened in the control booth where Jorge Da Silva, the sound engineer for Café de los Maestros, was at the helm. It took three hours to record four tangos. I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it for the world.

(*) Jose Libertella (7/09/33-12/08/04); Carlos Garcia 4/21/14-8/4/06; Lagrima Rios 9/26/24-12/25/06; Oscar Ferrari 8/9/24-8/20/08; Carlos Lazzari 1925 – 6/7/09; Emilio de la Pena 1929 – 6/22/09; Gabriel “Chula” Clausi 8/30/11-2/17/10; Anibal Arias 7/20/22-10/3/10.