Archive for the ‘ Pianist ’ Category

2004, February 26 – PREMIERE OF “REDLINE TANGO”

The incredible story of John Mackey is that of a young man who did not formally study a musical instrument and who learned to compose music on a toy like computer program on an early Apple II computer at the age of nine, who would one day compose a tango based orchestral work that would be performed all over the world…“this piece is freaking awesome“, one reviewer said of Redline Tango…in fact, its success has been phenomenal; in its first three years alone it was performed over 100 times in eight countries including the United States, Scotland, Norway, Singapore, Australia,China, Japan and Canada…in 2005 it won the highly prestigious Ostwald Prize from the American Bandmasters Association…John Mackey was born October 1, 1973 in New Philadelphia, Ohio into a musical family; his father was a trumpet player and his mother a flutist…his grandfather owned  a music store and it would be he, who would first introduce him to the computer program on composition…

***

His parents, not wishing to replicate an unpleasant experience with his sister, did not encourage formal musical training on him and yet when John was finally accepted to the renown Cleveland Institute of Music it was on the basis of two works, “Gloria” and “Fantasie”,  which he composed on the computer when he was fifteen years old…his first taste of notoriety occurred in 1993 when his “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”, based on a Dylan Thomas program, was selected by Cleveland Youth Orchestra for performance; it was the first time he would earn money from one of his compositions…he went on to receive a master’s degree in composition in 1997, from the renown Julliard School of Music and today in lives in Austin, Texas….his various other works have been performed all over the world; his “Strange Humors” for example has been choreographed and performed by the Parsons Dance Company to world-wide audiences…one critic said of his work, “his music is distinctly his, laced with an intensity sorely missing in the works of other composers”

____________________

CLICK HERE– http://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=pCUhry-F5GA to hear Antares perform “Redline Tango” at a live performance in Sanibel Island, Florida on February 26, 2009
Advertisements

1881, February 19 – BIRTH OF GABINO C. PENALOZA

Descending on his mule from Chilecito, Gabino Penaloza was very alone but at home among the stark, natural beauty of its cliffs and valleys…it had been a particularly wet year and the aromas of nature were strong…nearing the town of Olta the trail became more boggy and in the distant he could hear the bellowing of the river…in fact its banks had overflowed and he was forced to wait for the water level to recede…that evening at the joyous town gathering, was when he first saw the lovely, demure girl playing the piano; in the coming days they would spend much time together and fall in love…finally the water had receded and he could continue on his journey  but he promised he would return as soon as possible…but on the day of his return his beloved was no where to be found….the discovery that she was pregnant had brought great shame to the family and they had spirited her off in a hastily arranged marriage; the year was 1903…it was this crucially painful experience which was to be the inspiration of his poem “Caminito” which in time, along with “El Choclo” and “La Cumparsita” would become one of the three most beloved tangos of all time

***

Gabino Corea Penaloza  (Pisces) born in La Paz and from early on he showed an inclination to poetry but at the age of 15 he moved to Buenos Aires where by day he did a number of jobs and by night he wrote poems; in time they would begin to appear in the renown “Caras and Carretas” magazine…he would frequent the cheap cafes and bars where he was friends with aspiring musicians and singers like a young Carlos Gardel and especially Juan de Dios Filiberto who would compose the music for “Caminito” and with whom Gabino would collaborate on several other tangos including two hits, “El Besito” and “El Panuelito”…he would publish three celebrated books of poems some of which would be used by a number of composers…but he had a difficult and trouble ridden life in the big city and at the age of forty-five he followed his heart  to his beloved Chilencito where with his books and poems he lived to the age of 95 haunted to the end by the memories of that beautiful girl playing piano and the son he never met.

___________________

1886, February 17 – BIRTH OF GENARO ESPOSITO

Leader, Composer, Pianist, Bandoneonist (Aquarius) – Genaro was perched precariously on a step-ladder with nail and hammer in hand, concentrating on the hanging of a picture when his guest bellow uttered a phrase that almost made him fall, “would you like to help me organize a group to play in Paris”...little did he suspect what an epic saga his life was about to become…Paris was a dream that a boy born to struggling Neapolitan immigrant parents in the neighborhood of San TelmoBuenos Aires did not dare to have; and yet, here he was on a cruise ship heading toward Paris, the cultural capital of the world…but on the way tragedy struck, the violinist of the group, Victor Jachia, suddenly had a massive heart attack and died…Genaro Esposito was devastated but with typical “porteno” resolve he persevered and survived initially playing in Marseille for spare change…In time his “Orchestre Argentine Genaro Esposito” would become the toast of Paris performing in its most prestigious clubs, ”El Garron”, “Casino de Paris”, the “Coupole Dance Club” and later critically acclaimed European tours

***

Genaro would be a big factor in making tango a boom in Paris and therefore the world…in 1934 at the height of success he fell in love with a beautiful young French girl, Jeanne Vent…she rewarded him with the birth of a boy “Claude” of whom Genaro was immensely proud but then tragedy struck for the second time, Jeanne died leaving him to the care of their 11 month old child…he was never quite the same again…on June 14, 1940 the unimaginable happened, the German army entered Paris…interestngly, as they entered they played the San Lorenzo march composed by Cayetano Silva in 1901…a pall descended upon the city….little by little Genaro had to sell everything he owned just to eat; what little money he could earn came from playing his bandoneon for drunken German soldiers on leave from the Russian front……he had an opportunity to return to Buenos Aires but he steadfastly refused, he was a loyal French citizen now and he would stand by her and by his beloved Paris…sadly, the end came on January 24, 1944 when he succumbed to complications from pneumonia; as per his deathbed request, he was buried next to his beloved Jeanne…just seven months later allied forces would liberate Paris…with “Le Marseillaise“ still reverberating in his soul, General Charles de Gaul, in his liberation speech proclaimed, “Paris, Paris!, Paris outraged!, Paris broken!, Paris Martyred! but Paris liberated!.

__________________

1903, January 7 – BIRTH OF CARLOS DI SARLI

Composer, Leader, Pianist (Capricorn) – three times in his career his musicians walked out on him…he was a demanding, temperamental, difficult perfectionist…maybe it had something to do with the fact that as a young boy he had lost an eye in an accident and wore a prosthesis…there was the famous incident in which the owner of  the “Club El Germinal” told him that he could not perform wearing his habitual dark glasses…Carlos in his customary vexation became immensely irate and stompted out though these were tough times and work for musicians was difficult to come by….his band out of loyalty to him, continued playing using his name…but Carlos was also a gifted musician and perhaps no one represents the beauty, the sensuality, the passion of tango better, for the great number of people in the world, than he does…he recorded over 250 tangos in 27 albums…among the innumerable hits, three of his most beloved he composed himself “Bahia Blanca”, “Verde Mar” and “Otra Vez Carnaval”…he discovered a young Roberto Ruffino with whom he would record some immortal hits…

***

Like Astor Piazzolla, he was born in the town of Bahia Blanca to an italian immigrant father who had moved to the new world when his first wife tragically died young…he eventually fell in love with Carlo’s mother Serafina who came from a musical family; one of her brothers Tito Russomano was a noted barritone…with the encouragement of his father young Carlos began studying piano preparing for a career in classical music…at age 13 he horrified his family when he began playing and touring with a Zarzuela Company…three years later he formed his own orchestra and began playing at the Cafe Express in his home town; he composed his first tango “Meditacion”…at age 20 renown composer and band leader Anselmo Aieta ask him to join his orchestra…impressed with his seriousness and professionalism,  though he still quite young, Osvaldo Fresedo entrusted him with the direction of an important orchestra performing at the Fenix Theater…at the height of his creative power, Carlos Di Sarli passed away at the age of 57 years old…noted tango historian Keith Elshaw was to say of Carlos di Sarli, “he walked like a panther…his originality is breathtaking and his beat is so sexy”

____________________

1936, December 30 – BIRTH OF MIGUEL VILLASBOAS

Leader, Pianist (Capricorn) – surely the stellar career of Miguel Villasboas can put to rest the controversy of whether tango belongs to both Montevideo and Buenos Aires…his career involved collaboration with the legends of tango Osvaldo Fresedo, Miguel Calo, Juan D’arienzo…critics rate his contribution to tango among the two top in the history of tango in Uruguay; perhaps second only to that of Donato Racciatti…his output in recording is immense 60 LPs, 10 cassettes, 10 Cds recorded for different labels in both Argentina and Uruguay…he earned rave review and standing ovations  during tours in South America; among the most memorable before discriminating audiences in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brasil…he garnered ecstatic receptions  in Australia,  in the cities of Melbourne, Sidney and Adelaide…in the United States, especially in Miami and New York and in 2001 an   especially memorable tour of Japan….in 1976 the London label of England awarded him a gold disc for the sales success of his recording “De Pura Cepa”

***

He was born in the Pocitos neighborhood of Montevideo, Uruguay where from a very young age he showed keen musical ability which pleased his father, a piano teacher; in fact he was his first teacher…he finished his studies in the history of musical education and began teaching in high schools; an activity which he loved and which he continued until his retirement in 1993…at the age of 16 he formed his first musical group “Quinteto Miguelito”; they appeared in cafes and dancehalls and on television…he was still only 18 when luck broke his way, renowned maestro Nicolas Agapaios asked him to play piano with his orchestra…he later formed a sextet which would be in much demand; through it ranks passed some of Uruguays best musicians including Pedro Severino a virtuoso violinist who would remain with him for 30 years…in march of 1964 in his last appearance in Uruguay, the mythical Roberto Firpo invited Miguel to play with his group at the Palacio Sud America.

____________________

1904, December 18 – BIRTH OF MANUEL BUZON

Singer, Composer, Leader, Pianist (Sagittarius) – in 1924 at the age of 20 a young and struggling Manuel Buzon, a singer and piano player with big dreams, happened to notice from his house, the towers of a radio station which was being constructed…mustering up his courage he went to the station without an appointment and insisted on speaking to the manager; his bravado got him hired…that was the beginning of a storybook ascension culminating just five years later in a performance at the biggest royal palace in Europe, The Royal Palace of Madrid before the King of Spain, His Majesty Alfonso XIII…Manuel Buzon was born in the neighborhood of Flores in Buenos Aires to poor Spanish immigrants…early on he demonstrated an unusual talent in music and started winning fans in the choir of his local church…At the age of eleven, along with a girl classmate, he debuted in a singing duet at the Excelsior Theater to his first standing ovation…

***

At the LOY Radio Station he became a regular  and quickly gained a following with his singing and piano playing; he also began composing… his first major break came in October of 1925 when the legendary Rosita Quiroga decided to record one of his compositions “Calle Corazon”; he also organized and led the orchestra for the event…the year after, the respected magazine “Reflejos” featured an article on the young Manuel praising him as a composer calling him “up and coming”….in 1927 Manuel had his first big hit with his tango “Cancionero” which was premiered by Azucena Maizani; the next year another success with his tango “Melodia” which was premiered by singer Alberto Vila…he had a highly acclaimed debut in May of 1928, at the Villa Crespo Cinema where he not only conducted his own orchestra from the piano but sang as well…it is later that year that he embarks on the mythical tour of  Spain beginning in Barcelona and ending in Madrid before the king of Spain where he triumphed with a notable interpretation of the classic  ”El Enterriano”…in 1942 he premiered his hit milonga “Mano Brava” on Radio El Mundo…some of his most beloved tangos include “Ojos Negros”, “Tarde Gris” and “Bigotito”

___________________

1932, December 9 – 1st RECORDED, “EL HURACAN”

The composer of “El Huracan” (the hurricane) Edgardo Donato was notoriously absent minded…his daughter would tell the story of one day, when he was on a street car, that he happened to meet a friend and got into a conversation with him; they descended from the tram and continued talking…after a while he realized that his wife had been with him and that she had remained on the tram…”El Huracan” was a great hit for Edgardo, one of many among his more than 200 compositions…It was premiered at the Teatro Colón at a contest organized by the Sociedad de Beneficencia de Buenos Aires in 1932; it won second prize after the tango “Ventarron“…”El Huracan” continues to this day, to be played in milongas all over the world and has been recorded by many musicians, perhaps the most successful of all by Juan D’Arienzo

***

Edgardo Donato (born April 14, 1897, Airies), one of nine children of  an Italian immigrant musician in the field of opera, was born in the neighborhood of San Cristobal in Buenos Aires but raised in Montevideo (perhaps the only instance of a tango great going from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, it was usually the opposite)…his father was his first teacher and in fact Edgardo started his career in opera working with his father but his true love was the tango…with much trepidation, one day Edgardo mustered the courage to tell his father that he was joining the orchestra of Negro Quevedo which just happened to have on piano another future great, Enrique Delfino …Edgardo Donato was of course the composer of the immortal “A Media Luz” which he composed while riding a tram….his first hit “Julian” at the age of 24, he had actually tried to sell, in a moment of dire need, for 20 pesos but no one would buy it; he then decided to record it himself…its instant success created an immortal in tango

_____________________

  • CLICK HERE– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zWebHXopm0 to hear “El Huracan” played by the Edgardo Donato orchestra…the lyrics are by Nolo Lopez…the voice is that of Alex Gutierrez; it was his first recording and a hit at the age 23