Archive for the ‘ Orchestras ’ Category

1917, August 29 – birth of ARMANDO PONTIER

Composer, Leader, Bandoneonist (Virgo) – he was born in the province of Zarate in the outskirts of Buenos Aires to a very poor family…his dream was to play piano, but that was too expensive…one day his father shows up with a bargain bandoneon  which he had bought from a street vendor . His first orchestra was one he formed with his childhood friend Enrique Francini…their break came when they were invited to play at the grand opening of Tango Bar , September  1, 1945.

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As a composer he was at his greatest; he wrote some of the most beloved tangos in history; e.g.,  “Trenzas”, “Cada Dia Te Estrano Mas”. “Corazon No Le Hagas Caso”…about tango he said, “tango is no accident..a person who loves tango had  tango when he was still in his mother’s womb”. On Christmas Day of 1983, after of a sustained period of depression, he took his own life.

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  • CLICK HERE http://tiny.cc/APontier to hear the Pontier/Francini orchestra play one of Pontier’s most beloved compositions “Margo” written in 1945 (lyrics by Homero Exposito)
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1899, August 28 -birth of PEDRO MAFFIA

Composer, Leader, Bandoneonist (Virgo) – he grew up in a destitute family with a brutal father who would beat him and force him to beg for money…he ran away to the house of the legendary “Negra Maria” likely brothel owner and mother of several musicians by different fathers and … his marginal living came from playing in cheap bars in the outskirts of town…one day while playing in the village of Punta Arena he was discovered by Carlos Gardel and Jose Razzano…Roberto Firpo, later asked him to join his orchestra…like Juan Maglio “Pacho”, he was one of the first to play the bandoneon “a capella”…he formed his first orchestra in 1926.

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As a bandoneon player he was different from the others; like Juan Maglio “Pacho”, he was one of the first to play bandoneon “a capella”…his was a gentle, nuanced, unhurried style all the while  playing in an unright  posture. Several of his compositions like  “Amurado” (1927) for example, continue being highly popular with dancers and performers…Anibal Troilo would write a tango in his honor, “A Pedro Maffia…he starred in the mythical film “Tango” directed by Luis Moglia Barth and released in 1933

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1919, 27 August – birth of ISMAEL SPITALNIK

Composer, Leader, Bandoneonist (Virgo) – he was born in Buenos Aires of Jewish immigrant parents…as  a child he already showed great ability in music … as a teenager he created a duo with a young Armando Cupo and they toured the surrounding communities playing in modest bars. His lucky break came in 1939 when he was invited by Angel D’Agostino to join his orchestra.

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He was an extremely simple, self-effacing man. A curious, intellectual mind inspired him to continue serious studies and he eventually became an expert in arrangement and instrumentation… in midst of all this he managed to finish  his studys in industrial chemistry.  In 1956 he joined the Osvaldo Pugliese orchestra with whom he shared an impassioned  allegiance to communism and in fact he toured the Soviet Union with that orchestra. His compositions are considered part of the early modern tango movement.

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  • CLICK HERE http://tinyurl.com/ISpitalnik to hear his orchetra play “De Vuelta al Bulin”, written by Jose Martinez and lyrics by Pascual Contursi with the voice of Angel Calderon

1905, August 24 – birth of RICARDO MALERBA

Leader, Composer, Bandoneonist (Virgo) – while still a young boy he forms an orchestra with his brothers; Alfredo on piano, Carlos on violin….they played in the local cinemas earning one peso a day…in 1927 a break came when they were invited by Catulo Castillo to join his orchestra on a tour of Europe where the brothers ended up staying for quite a few years….             

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In Portugal his brother Carlos suddenly gets ill and dies…his brother Alfredo returns to Buenos Aires where he eventually marries the singer Libertad Lamarque. As a star on Radio Belgrano, he stayed for over 20 years. Among 43 recordings he had two great hits “Gitana Rusa” and “Remembranza”. As a composer two of his creations “Embrujamento” (bewitching) and “La Piba de los Jasmines” (the girl from the jasmin grove) remain popular in milongas and performances today.

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  • CLICK HERE –  http://tiny.cc/RMalerba to hear his orchestra play one of his own compositions “Embrujamento” (bewitching) with lyrics by Manuel Ferradás Campos

1921, August 19 – birth of FULVIO SALAMANCA

Pianist, Leader, Composer  (Leo) – born in the village of Juan B. Molina in the province of Santa Fe…he began to study musical theory and piano at the age of 6…at the age of 12 he was a certified piano teacher…at the age of 14 he formed his first orchestra calling it Orchestra Mickey

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 He spent 17 years with the Juan D’Arenzo orchestra; perhaps his best years…in 1957 he formed his own orchestra through which passed some great musical talent… he toured many countries but had great success in Japan… his passionate sense of justice sprouted strong political beliefs leaning toward communism for which he sacrificed much including frequent periods of incarceration.

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  • Click here http://bit.ly/FSalamca  to hear his orchestra sing “Los Despojos” (the remains) written in 1947  by José Dames (Lyrics by Horacio Sanguinetti) with the voice of  Julio Rodolfo

1969, 2 August – LAST PERFORMANCE !

Rodolfo Biagi…last performance of a truly great leader and composer,… at the Hurlingham Club, Buenos Aires…(he dies 41 days later)

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Born into a family of dire poverty, he leaves school at a very young age…against the consent of his parents he begins to play piano in silent movie houses…one evening, in the theater happened to be  Juan Maglio “Pacho” who invited Rodolfo to join his orchestra…he was 15                                                                                                          ________________________________________

  • Click here to see him play one of  his great hits “Quiero Verte una Vez Mas” (I want to see you for the last time) written by Mario Canaro in 1938 (lyrics by Jose Maria Contursi)   http://bit.ly/Biagi

1906, 9 August – BIRTH OF LUCIO DEMARE

Pianist, (Leo) leader and composer  of beloved tangos premier among them “Malena” in 1942…he was born in the neighborhood of Mercado de Abasto in Buenos Aires…his father Domingo was a professional violinst…his brother Lucas was a bandoneon player and legendary film director…in 1926 at the age of twenty, he was summoned by Francisco Canaro to Paris to front an orchestra in his name…thereafter he teamed up with singers Agustin Irusta and Roberto Fugazot to form an acclaimed trio which performed at the Teatro Maravillas in Madrid

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At the age of 5 Lucio was so focused on practising piano that his mother would have to threaten him to get him to come to the table for dinner…at the age of 8 he begins to play in the silent movie houses from 2 PM until midnight, “I loved it”, he was so say many years laterat the age of 19 he gets a gig in Paris where he meets Rodolfo Valentino and Carlos Gardel...until almost th last day of his life he continued composing tangos, many of which are still unpublished.

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  • Click here to hear his orchestra play “Remolino” sung by Raul Beron with the Miguel Calò Orchestra…it was composed by Mario Canaro with lyrics by Francisco Jimenez.  http://bit.ly/LDemare