1900, May 1 – BIRTH OF PAQUITA BERNARDO

Bandoneonist, Composer (Taurus) – Don Jose was extremely angry and adamant that his daughter Paquita would not besmirch the family name by playing the bandoneon; it was unheard of, no woman had ever before dared…but Paquita was determined and so pretending to go to study piano, she secretly studied the bandoneon; later she would study with the legendary Juan Maglio “Pacho”…she would eventually become an immensely popular and highly paid bandoneon player and an eternal icon for women’s rights…Paquita Bernardo was born in the neighborhood of Villa Crespo to a poor Spanish immigrant family; she was the middle child of seven children…already as a child Paquita demonstrated keen musical ability and it was a neighbor Catalina Torres who owned a musical school who mentored Paquita…inspired by the mythical Eloisa De Silva, she quickly mastered the intrument and began playing at local festivals, partys and fund-raising events and began garnering fame as “La Flor de Villa Crespo”

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At the age of twenty-one she debuted with her own group “Orchestra Paquita” at the Dominguez Bar, where she was paid 600 pesos per months, a considerable sum for those days, whose musicians included a young boy from the neighborhood, Osvaldo Pugliese…it was here that she debuted her tango “Floreal” which was eventually recorded by Juan Carlos Cobian…at the mythical tango contest at the Teatro Gran Splendido organized by Max Glucksman she won third place with, “Sonando”…she debuted at the Smart Theater backing up singer Florindo Ferrario including among her musicians, Enrique Delfino…she personally left no recordings but her fifteen compositions have been recorded by many musicians including Roberto Firpo and Carlos Gardel ..she continued to live under the strict moral guidance of her father and although she had many suitors but she never had a boyfriend, “the bandoneon is my only true love” she was to say…fifteen days before her 25th birthday, she succumbed bronco pneumonia a complication which had set in from a common cold

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