Archive for the ‘ Guitarist ’ Category


One reviewer said of “Mattsson Tango”, “I’ll go out on a limp here and say this is the best work he has ever done” is indeed a great leap forward for Lars Eric Mattsson who is Finland’s number one hard rock guitarist  and whose specific genre, described as “neo/classic metal hard rock”, would seem far cry from the sophisticated world of tango…however, this is, in a sense, a return to his roots for Lars recalls nostalgically as a little boy, his grandfather listening to treasured recordings of the legendary Olavi Virta, the king of Finnish tango…tango in fact, from the year 1913 when the Finns first discovered it, became the national music of Finland….in its history, tango has had far-reaching influence on many cultural forms around the world;  this is certainly the first time to evolve into “classic metal tango”…For his Mattsson’s Tango he enlisted the help of stunning vocalist Adrienne Antal whom one producer described as “the best female vocalist I have ever heard”


Lars was born in the Aland Islands, the Swedish speaking region of Finland…it was as a boy that he discovered the guitar and it became his passion; in time he developed not only an amazing technique but a style all his own which has won him a legion of fans all other world…later he also became an accomplished pianist…he was a young, starving guitarist, when he was discovered by producer Mike Varney who first exposed him to the world in an introductory article about him in his renowned “Guitar Player Magazine”, the voice of his Shrapnel Records Label…Lars’s first recording was a four song compilation in 1985 which was well received by the public; he soon after founded  a band called “Vision” which was especially popular with the Japanese public…from there his success skyrocketed leading to the formation of his own production company “Lion Music” which gradually evolved into a record label


CLICK HERE– Mattsson’s Tango with the voice of Adrienn Antal


Composer, Leader, Violinist, Guitarist, Harmonica (Pisces) – as a youth he was tormented, difficult, rebellious even a bully and finally he was practically thrown out of school and began working in a series of  menial jobs along the way becoming a fiery anarchist and strike organizer…one fateful evening while working at the famed Colon Theater as a mechanic’s assistant, he happened to see a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and he was stunned; it changed his life…although unrefined, course and practically illiterate,  with tremendous determination, he enrolled at the Pettizini – Sttianessi Conservatory to study music for the first time and gradually the musical genius that was prowling inside his soul began to emerge…later he earned a scholarship to the to study with Maestro Alberto Williams at the prestigious National Conservatory…his tango “Caminito”, composed in 1926, along with “La Cumparsita”, “Il Choclo” and “A Media Luz” would become one of the most universally beloved and recorded musical themes in history…


He was born in the mythical neighborhood of La Boca, Buenos Aires to a mother who was a descendent of  native americans and a father who was Genoese…many years later he would nostalgically recall his first taste of tango as a six years old toddler at his uncles cafe “La Estrellita”…battling symptoms of tuberculosis, his friend and physician Jose Ingenieros, himself an impassioned political activist and philosopher, advised him to move to the city of Guaymallen; his stay here inspired his first tango, the first of his tangos with distinctly indigenous chords…in 1932 he formed his first orchestra which debuted at the mythical Cafe Tortoni…he dared to include unusual instruments like clarinets and flutes and nativist themes but the critizism that naturally followed was difficult for him to bear…however, it was the beginning of a long and productive  career…among his numerous compositions are great hits like “Quejas De Bandoneon”, “Malevaje”, “El Panuelito”; Carlos Gardel would record sixteen of his tangos…toward the end of his life, reflecting on his career he would say, “my music is many things but above all it is feeling…of course feeling is not enough for you have to know how to express it”


1887, February 25 – BIRTH OF JOSE RAZZANO

Singer, Composer, Guitarist (Pisces) – at the end of negotiations with the renown Club ArmenonvilleCarlos Gardel boyishly leaned forward to hear the results from his partner Jose Razzano, “Well, what do we have he asked” rubbing his hands together,“Seventy pesos” answered Jose, “Per month?”asked Gardel happily, “No, per night” added Jose,“Well” said Gardel incredulously “for that sum, I’ll even wash the dishes”…besides being an extraordinary musician Jose Razzano was a keen business man and crack negotiator…the singing duo of Gardel – Razzano would be immensely successful locally and abroad; they toured  Uruguay, Brasil, Chile and Spain in whose capital Madrid, sang to packed audiences…they met at a singing contest at which an aspiring Gardel generously complimented Jose on his singing voice; it was that night that the idea of combining their talents first emerged…they debuted together at the celebrated Teatro Nacional in 1914 to great acclaim; their performance schedule became immensely busy


Jose Razzano was born in Montevideo to a poor immigrant italian family…when he was two years old, his father’s died suddenly and his desperate mother moved the family to the neighborhood of Balvanera in Buenos Aires… from a very early age Jose demonstrated keen musical ability and with much sacrifice his mother enrolled him in guitar lessons…at age eight he was already performing for neighborhood audiences…in 1925 tragedy struck when he developed a problem with his throat and he had to give up singing…he then began to devote himself exclusively to managing Carlos Gardel’s career which often meant paying off Gardel’s considerable race horse gambling obligations…later would come a bitter separation from Gardel which gave rise to many malicious rumors nevertheless the legendary singer Charlo hired Jose as his manager…Joe would accompany Charlo on a toursof latin america and the United States


1861, February 16 – BIRTH OF ANGEL VILLOLDO

Singer, Lyricist, Guitarist, Pianist, Violinist, Harmonica (Aquarius) – he was a fascinating man, a sort of Ernest Hemingway and Bob Dylan all in one…he was a prolific composer and lyricist having written some of the most beloved tangos in history….his immortal tango “El Choclo” was so ubiquitous that during World War I, German officers wishing to honor a visiting Argentinean dignitary mistakenly played El Choclo believing it to be the national anthem…year later Carlos Disarli would record one of its most successful versions in history…it continues to our very day to be one of the most instantly recognized pieces of music in history and yet when it premiered at the exclusive “El Americano” restaurant in Buenos Aires, the leader of the orchestra had to disguise it by calling it “Danza Criolla” as the owner did not like tango music…Angel Villoldo was born into a destitute family in the neighborhood of Barracas…he quit school early to work and did many types of jobs including teamster, herdsman, topographer, writer and circus clown….


But he heard music always in his mind and when he was guiding his team of horses through the mud or hostile elements he was composing in his head….he began acquiring fame performing his composition while accompanying himself with guitar and harmonica in the local cafes and bars; in 1889  he published “Cantos Criollos” a book of lyrics meant to be sung with guitar accompaniment….interestingly, he invented the apparatus which allows the playing of the harmonica while strumming the guitar which many years later would become the symbol of a young, tormented Bob Dylan…he wrote a sort of popular comics which were full of wit and sarcasm using the argot from the lowest rung of society…he devised a method of learning to play guitar using symbols called “Metodo America” which he published in 1917…his first tango hit “El Portenito”, was sung by Dorita Miramar in 1903 on the stage of the Parisien Varitè Show featured at the legenday Moulin Rouge…his “Cantar Eterno” was an early hit for the RazzanoGardel duo in 1917…for Gath and Chaves, he traveled to France to use state of the art recording equipment to record tangos and helped popularize tango in France; he wrote the lyrics for “La Morocha” which was the first beloved tango in Europe…and finally, he left as he came, poor, when he was run over by a tram at the age of 58


1891, February 13 – BIRTH OF IGNACIO CORSINI

Singer, Composer, Poet (Aquarius) – Soccorro Salamone was desperate, for not only was she poor but the blemish of being an unwed mother meant that her young son Ignacio did not have much of a future; his father, a certain “Corsini” had disappeared as soon as he found out that she was pregnant…….these were tough time in the ancient greek town of Troina, Sicily whose historical relics date back to the 7th Millenium BC…40 years later, Troina would be the seat of a famous World War II battle between Nazi and Allied forces commanded by General George S. Patton… day, mustering tremendous courage, young Soccorro with little Ignacio in tow, mounted a horse carriage and descended Troina to begin the long journey to Naples where she boarded a ship to Buenos Aires…she settled in the neighborhood of Almagro and began working long hours as a washer woman…when Ignacio was ten years old they moved to the country where the boy began working as a herdsman and ox driver…many years later, reflecting on those long solitary hours in the countryside, Ignacio Corsini, now a famous and successful singer would say, “birds taught me the spontaneity of their singing, in the great scenery of nature…to sing like them, naturally with no effort”…


Around the age of 17 he met a circus clown Jose Pacheco who introduced him to the theater and by the age of 21 he had already achieved a certain amount of fame and prestige…from Pacheco he obtained one other thing, his daughter Victoria whom he would marry in 1911…in his autobiography he would write that it was, above all, her encouragement during difficult times that was responsible for his success; he would remain loyal to her for his whole life…On May 12, 1922, in the one-act play “El Bailarin del Cabaret”, he premiered “Patotero Sentimental” which was his first major hit…his only composition to become successful was “Tristeza Criolla” which in the 40s was a major hit for singer Angel Vargas…Above all, it was his renditions of the creations of the team of Enrique Maciel as composer and Hector Blomberg as  lyricist which would make his name legendary…the loss of his wife from a debilitating disease left him sad and embittered; she was his whole life…dedicating his performance to her, he sang for the last time on May 28, 1949 on the show “Argentinidad” on Radio Belgrano



The guitar is the symbolic instrument which unites both Argentina and Uruguay; it has been from the beginning, the primary instrument for both tango and folk music in Montevideo and Buenos Aire…it is with this in mind that Alberto De Los Santos, in 1991, founded the Cuarteto De Los Santos; which from its inception has included band members from both Argentina and Uruguay…its success has been phenomenal; it has gone on to conquer critics and audiences all over the world…one critic noted, “rarely in the history of the guitar, have guitars had such a spell binding effect on audiences…the elixar of  ”Cuarteto De Los Santos” cuts across age, national and cultural differences”


Alberto de los Santos was born in Montevideo, Uruguay to a father who was himself a musician and guitarist…from early on his father noticed the musical talent in young Alberto and he began teaching him…when other boys might be anxious to get on the football field or hang out with friends, Alberto was totally devoted to his guitar..his proficiency at a young age surprised even his father… at the age of 13 he was selected among several candidates to form part of a trio; his first professional job…at age 15 he became part of a renown duet called “America” which quickly attained notiriety…he was then invited to become part of the Carlos Paralta guitar ensemble which accompanied the legendary Roberto Goyeneche…he began to be requested in the  groups providing music for television stations in both Montevideo and Buenos Aires by noted maestros like Horacio Salgan…the repertori of Cuarteto De Los Santos has included instrumental versions of famous Argentinian and Uruguayan authors and composers such as Astor Piazzolla, A. Zitarrosa,  Agustin Bardi, Eduardo Arolas, Alfonso y Zabala.


1955, December 16 – BIRTH OF MARIA VOLONTE

Singer, Comoser, Author (Sagittarius) –  Maria recalls the day her father came home gleaming with excitement, he had just bought one of the first home recorders…enthusiastically he called young Maria over for its first test into which Maria sang the Neopolitan classic “Cuore Ingrato”…she was so moved that she cried midway through its rendition…recalling that moment she was to say, “There was so much hidden pain in that melody, so much love generously spread! That day I discovered, that singing is to allow oneself to be pierced with passion”… her home as a child was a surrealistic, make-believe world created by her father, of improvised theater and art and painted bed sheets which doubled as scenery and probs with whatever household items they could get their hands on, rice cans, sauce pans, wooden spoons and all kinds of music…her father, a project draftsman, had sacrificed his youthful dream of show business for a “serious profession”


When she was 10 years old her father bought her her first guitar…she recalled that from its first strum she remained in awe and she would recall later “I knew it had changed my life”…as a teenager in school she was the hub of musical events; her life’s vocation was gradualy dawning in her soul…in the early 80s, now newly wed and living in the San Telmo area, she began by singing latin rock  in small cafes and barrooms before one day realizing that her true calling was tango…her 1996 album “Tango Y Otras Passiones” was awarded a coveted place in “La Nacion” newspaper’s  100 best tango albums of all time…she has won the Premio Gardel twice for best female tango singer…in 2004 she was nominated for the Latin Grammy for her album “Fuimos” (based on “Fuimos” written by Homero Manzi)…she has performed in Latin America, Europe and the United States always to create acclaim…in 2008 she moved to San Francisco where she has appeared at the legendary Yoshi’s Jazz Club…one critic said of hershe has one of the most assured, warmest, beautiful voices I’ve ever heard  and just enough dissonance and drama to keep things rooted in reality”