Archive for the ‘ Clarinetist ’ Category

1963, February 23 – BIRTH OF CLAUDIA LEVY

Singer, Composer, Poet (Pisces) – the little girl gazed tenderly at her mother who was crying as she was strumming the piano, “He’s not coming back is he mommy?” she asked, “No darling he’s not”, she answered...”well”, said the little girl “lets tear up his tooth-brush”…somehow it was that moment of  a child’s simple vision which set her free; yes it was time to move on…the day would come when she would be grateful for the whole experience for from that day on, she began composing tango…she had fallen madly in love with a boy ten years younger and he had gone to New York on tour…in the begining, his emails were numerous and daily and then gradually more scarse…one day, she boarded a plane to New York to see him and the plane was uncommonly late; an omen…when she finally saw him, as he walked towards her, somehow she knew, “it’s over”Claudia Levy was born in Buenos Aires; her father was jewish and her mother catholic…her mother was a lover of cinema and she would tell little Claudia all about the films’ plots; Claudia credits this early experience as seminal in developing her later love of writing lyrics…


Early on she demonstrated precocious musical talent and her father promptly enrolled her in the Conservatory Alberto Williams where she studied classical piano…later she studied dance and mime but at a certain point she found her creative soul in tango…along the way, she has made some people angry; she was a pioneer in a new genre, “woman centered tango”, in a world that historically has been very macho…using trademark sarcasm and humor she has brought awareness to the custom, still prevalent in Argentina and other nations, of men beating their wives and in some cases even killing them…her first musical group, a duo, was called “Tangachas”…with her second group, she began making a name for herself and went on a critically acclaimed tour of  Europe…this was followed by her participation in a third group “Munecas Bravas”…her first disc “Mentime Mas” is a compilation of her own compositions and lyrics…her second disc“Escuchame Un Segondo” has received rave reviews from critics and public alike…in one of her celebrated lyrics she says,“go ahead and cry for there is no Christ to save you…cry that crying is good for you…dismount your horse and come to the light of the day for only a coward beats his wife”



Leader, Composer, Pianist, Accordianist (Aquarius) – he was not one to get easily discouraged…his father had taught him to be persistent and there was certainly one area in which he had no lack of self-confident; his musical ability…and so having been refused an audition for having shown up without of an appointment, he stopped in, at the hall of RCA Victor Studios, took out his accordion and began playing his waltz “Illusion de Mi Vida”…everyone looked up immediately and soon he had an enthusiastic crowd surrounding him…hearing the commotion, a producer came out and was amazed at the scene before him…he was given a contract and the very next day, September 9, 1933, Feliciano Brunelli  recorded his waltz “Illusion de Mi Vida” which became a hit….his “Amor Gitano” would become the theme song for the celebrated Glostora Tango Club…Felicano Brunelli was certainly one of the most successful tango musicians in history; he recorded 763 numbers with RCA Victor and would remain popular for over 40  years…he was one of a select few musicians whose picture hung proudly on the “wall of honor” in the main offices in New York City


He was born in Marseilles, France but his parent were italian immigrants…his father was an accordion tuner and maker of stringed musical instruments…this was however, a time when the racism against Italians was very strong in Mareseille  and when Feliciano was five years old, his father transferred the family to the city of  Rafaela, Argentina in search of a better life for his family…from his father he learned to play the accordion, in Rafaela he took piano lessons and it soon became evident that young Feli had special talent…he began to play with groups in the cafes and clubs in his town while he was still a young teenager and he soon developed a dedicated following…one of his fans recommended him to a producer at the Odeon Record label who promptly summoned the boy for an audition and hired him…Renown violinist Elvino Vardaro was passing through Rafaela and hear about Feliciano and he took him to Buenos Aires, providing lodging in his house and introducing him to the world…in time he would become famous and popular



On this date, the recording academy announced that Paquito D’Rivera’s album “Funk Tango” had been nominated for Grammy Awards’s, “Best Latin Jazz Recording” which it later won…Funk Tango was also a Critic’s Choice pick of the New York Times; it was the 9th Grammy award for Paquito…Paquito explained that his love of tango was instilled as a child in Havana, “names such as Libertad Lamarque, Pepe Biondi and Hugo del Carrill filled TV and movie screens throughout the island, and while listening to the local radio stations, we learned to admire musicians such as Marianito Mores, Anibal “Pichuco” Troilo and the immortal Carlos Gardel,“...Jazz and tango have parallel histories; both came out of the slums and the underworld, were denounced as salacious and were then embraced as dance music, both moved from clubs to concert halls, both conjure romance, exhilaration and tension; both use improvisation…


Born in Havana on June 4, 1948 (Gemini), Paquito D’Rivera was a child prodigy who began his musical studies at the age of five under the tutelage of his father Tito, himself a well-known classical saxophonist and conductor in Cuba…at the age of six, this “wunderkind” was already performing in public and when he was seven, became the youngest artist ever to endorse a musical instrument when he signed on with the legendary company, Selmer..In 1958, the ten-year old D’Rivera performed at the National Theatre in Havana to overwhelming acclaim by both critics and audience…by 1980, D’Rivera was dissatisfied about the constraints placed on his music in Cuba…in early 1981, while on tour in Spain, he sought asylum with the American Embassy and left his homeland, wife and child behind in search of a better life with a promise to get them out..Paquito is also a gifted composer and author; his biography “My Sax Life” and his novel “Oh La Habana” have been received well…In 2005, Paquito wrote a letter criticizing musician Carlos Santana for his decision to wear a t-shirt with the image of Che Guevara on it, at the academy awards citing Guevara’s role in the execution of counter-revolutionaries in including his own cousin.