Posts Tagged ‘ buenos aires ’

1993, April 30 – PREMIERE OF “ONNEN MAA”

The prodigal son Tenho returns to his boyhood village hoping to recapture sweet memories of his youth but no one knows that he is a tango dancer…however, the country life is being assaulted by changes from the big city and there is much resentment…Tenho to his dismay, is seen as the black sheep of the family and he becomes a laughing stock…he tries desperately to fit by trying to match the other men of the family in their strenuous chores but he doesn’t quite succeed and he gets criticized and even bullied…Tenho begins to teach some of the other young people how to dance the tango which the elders do not like… in time he manages to conquer the village beauty, the sensuous milkmaid Vira to the astonishment of the others…”Onnen Maa” (Happiness in March), directed and written by Markku Polenen, was well received by critics and public alike…it artfully blends comedy and nostalgia in just under an hour; it has won several awards in film festivals…Polenen’s films are usually set in the country side; the preservation of Finland’s country culture and values is somewhat of a personal crusade for him…

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Markku Polenen, born in Eno Finland, started out installing water pumps as a young man but he dreamed of making films…eventually, he attended Finland’s premiere film school and began working in television…he went on to become one of Finlands celebrated film directors earning numerous awards for his work…he bought the production company Suomen Filmeteollisuuss which he runs with the help of his wife Satu….perhaps his best film is “Dog Nail Clipper” which was released  in 2004 and  won the equivalent of Finland’s academy award in a number of categories….almost from the beginning Finland fell in love with tango; by the 1940s half of all popular published music was a tango especially in the habanera rhythm…perhaps no one did more to popularize tango in Finland than the legendary Olavi Virta…he was born to a musical family; both his father and grandfather were singers…Olavi was immensely popular but he would die destitute from complications of alcohol abuse at the age of fifty-seven years old

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1955, April 23 – BIRTH OF LINA AVELLANEDA

Singer, Composer, Poet (Aries) – there were nights she would wake up from a night mare and realize that it had been real…the knock at the door, the forced entry of armed soldiers, the beating of her parents, her sister dragged away with no knowledge of her fate only to learn later that she had been tortured and murdered in Argentina’s tragic “Dirty War”…Lina herself barely escaped being apprehended and she had to flee with an eight month old baby, changing houses seven times to avoid detection and arrest…it is this passion, the anger, the fear, the outrage that so many of its perpetrators have still not been brought to justice which she puts into her poetry and music…Lina Avellaneda was born in the Wilde neighborhood of Buenos Aires to a family of gifted musicians, circus performers, singers…her father, son of Italian immigrants, was passionate about tango; her mother of Spanish descent, until late in life, continued singiing Spanish “Tonadillas”…

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Her cousin, Julio Pane, is a renown bandoneonist and composer who performed with Astor Piazzolla…she began performing when she was still in grade school singing folk songs; later she graduated from the Escuela De Bellas Artes (School of Fine Arts) and continued her musical studies with the legendary Sebastian Piana…she has won numerous awards for her music and has won nine awards for her poetry including the Mitominas first prize given by the Argentine poet Tamara Kamenszain…in 2005 she published to great acclaim, “Marron y Plata” a book of poetry about about the origins of the river and the arrival of its immigrants; many of her poems have been musicalized by renown composers…her performances, interspersed with her humor and monologues, have made her a favorite on Radio Belgrano and at Ruben Juarez’s celebrated Cafe Homero…in 2003 she appeared in the movie “Yo No Se Que Me Han Hecho Tus Ojos” dedicated to Ada Falcon…she is an impassioned campaigner for women’s rights especially equal pay and reproductive rigthts

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1948, April 16 – FIRST RECORDED “LA PASTORA”

The lyrics of this tango say, ” she was an enchanted country girl who sang like those who dream in life…she laughed like people who are happy and she never complained…one day she disappeared but people can still hear her voice in the wind”….”La Pastora” was the second major hit for Alfredo Di Angelis which, like his first hit “Pregonera”, he composed in collaboration with lyricist Jose Rotulo…Jose Rotul was born in the city of Rocha, Uruguay and as a child he dreamed of being a pianist which he had studied at the consveratory….in time he realized that his true vocation was writing poetry and lyrics…with Alfredo Di Angelis he wrote the immortal “Remolino” which the Francini-Pontier Orchestra with the voice of Raul Beron turned into a great hit…Alfredo Di Angelis waited a long time to start his own orchestra…

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Most would be greats jumped into the treacherous waters of entrepreneurship at a much younger age (and most failed) and yet from the moment of his debut at the mythical Cafe Marzotto, he would see unabated success…he would be criticized as being a merry-go-round orchestra for, like Juan D’arienzo, adopting the 2/4 beat, would make it eminently successful and eminently danceable…another thing that differentiated him from his competition was his stability; his core group if musicians would remain with him for their entire careers…Di Angelis popularized the tango duet especially the one of Carlos Dante and Julio Martel who would record a number of hits…Alfredo Di Angelis was on the inaugural show of the legendary Glostora Tango Club on Radio El Mundo with who he would be associate for twenty years…Alfredo Di Angelis was born in the charming village of Androgue just outside of Buenos Aires; years later it would be the inspiration for one of Jorge Luis Borges’ books of poetry…his father Virgilio de Angelis was a violinist who encouraged young Alfredo to play the bandoneon and later the piano

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1946, April 1 – DEBUT OF “GLOSTORA TANGO CLUB”

A small, simple ad appeared in the “El Mundo” newspaper that day, “At 8 PM tonight, Maestro Alfredo De Angelis with his singers Carlos Dante and Julio Martel on a new program, ‘El Glostora Tango Club’, for the victorious youth, the hair gel of a grand world within reach of the whole world”…it is doubtful that its creators realized that their brief, fifteen minute experiment following a very popular mystery series, would one day blossom into a legendary institution which would have a run of twenty-two years…it featured the Alfredo De Angelis Orchestra for the first five years and there after it would host the most renown orchestras and singers; Francisco Canaro, Miguel Calo, Juan D’arienzo, Armando Pontier, Enrique Francini, Osvaldo Pugliese to name just a few…its theme song for all those years would remain the pasodoble “Amor Gitano” composed by the renown Feliciano Brunelli…its proud sponsor was the Glostora Hair Gel whose target market was young people; for these were the times when tango was the preferred music of the youth, “just four drops  and you will have victorius hair” it repeated to them over and over again…

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Hosted by Rafael Diaz Gallardo and Lucia Marcò, in its debut Alfredo De Angelis played three tangos “La Brisa”, “Misa De Once”, and “Sonar y Nada Mas” his great waltz hit which had premiered three years earlier….transmitting from the Casino Theater it was a live transmission with a large studio audience…the program became so popular that entire familys awaited its inception and they would eagerly crowd around the radio; grown men would remember with great nostalgia, that special day when their fathers’ would take them to the theater to be part of the studio audience…this was a period when Buenos Aires was teeming with milongas and orchestras every night...”for more and better stylish hair, Glostora…for more and better tangos Glostora Tango Club” was one of the jingles which listeners would know by heart…Tango’s history is closely intertwined with radio; they had a symbiotic relationship supporting each other in their respective development…in radio’s nascent days, musicians performed for free but they could count on copious amounts of food and wine…Rosita Quiroga was probably the first soloist on radio but she became equally famous for the ravioli she cooked for her fellow musicians in Radio Belgrano’s kitchens

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1941, March 20 – Alfredo De Angelis Debuts, “CAFE MARZOTTO”

He had waited a long time to start his own orchestra…most would-be greats jumped into the treacherous waters of entrepreneurship much younger (and most failed) and yet from the moment of his debut at the mythical Cafe Marzotto he would see stellar success…he would be criticized as being a merry-go-round orchestra for like Juan D’arienzo, adopting the 2/4 beat, would make it eminently danceable and eminently successful…another thing that differentiated him from his competition was its stability, his core group of musicians would remain with him for his and their entire career…another unique thing about the Alfredo De Angelis orchestra was that it popularized the tango duet, premier among them, the one composed of Carlos Dante and Julio Martel…Alfredo De Angelis was born in the charming village of Androgue just outside of Buenos Aires; years later it would be the inspiration for one of  Jorge Luis Borges’s books of poetry….

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From early age, young Alfredo demonstrated precociousness and at the age of nine began playing piano for silent movies at the Androgue Cinema…Alfredo impressed noted singer Juan Gilberti who gave him his first job as an accompanist…his first break came when he was invited to play with the renown Anselmo Aieta Orchestra…he developed a name for himself and invitations to play with other important orchestras followed…his orchestra was on the inaugural program of the legendary “Glostora Tango Club” and would perform there for 25 years…he would record 486 tangos with the Odeon Label between 1943 and 1977…the Cafe Marzotto mixed tango, football and horse races and made history…it gave its start to a young Attilo Stampone who played there in the 1930s; in 1946 a young and wavering Astor Piazzolla walked in to ask Attilo to join his group…it launched the career of Osmar Maderna, “the Chopin of tango” who would tragically die at the age of thirty-three in an airplane crash.

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1955, March 19 – SATCHMO RECORD, “KISS OF FIRE” (EL CHOCLO)

Lester Allen and Robert Hill were basking in the fame and glory of their new hit “Kiss of Fire”, when someone finally noticed that it was oddly similar to the immortal tango “El Choclo”…in fact after intense proceedings they finally conceded that it was in fact “El Choclo” and thereafter, on all sheet music, the name of “Angel Villoldo” the orignal composer, preceded theirs…Kiss of fire was a major hit for Georgia Gibbs in 1952 reaching all the way to number 2 on the Billboard Charts…another popular version was the one by Louis Armstrong “Satchmo” which was recorded on March 19, 1955…other celebrated versions were by Nat King Cole, Connie Francis and in Finland, by the “King of Finnish Tango”, Olavi Virta…seeking to capitalize on the immense popularity of  “Kiss of Fire” a film, directed by Joseph M. Newman and starring Jack Palance, was released in 1955…part of the background music is a flamenco like version of “Kiss of Fire”…

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Angel Villoldo, the original composer of “Kiss of Fire” (El Choclo) was a fascinating man, a sort of Ernest Hemingway and Bob Dylan all in one…he was born on February 16, 1861 into a destitute family in the neighborhood of Barracas, Buenos Aires…he quit school early to work and did many jobs including teamster, herdsman and circus clown before devoting himself to music…..he would become a prolific composer and lyricist of some of the most beloved tangos in history…”El Choclo” became instantly popular all over the world and the story is told that German officers wishing to honor a visiting Argentinean dignitary mistakenly played “El Choclo” believing it to be the national anthem…when it first premiered in the exclusive “El Americano” restaurant in Buenos Aires, the leader of the orchestra had to disguise it by calling it “Danza Criolla” as tango was considered music of the pimps and prostitutes

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1889 March 18 – BIRTH OF HECTOR BLOMBERG

Poet, Writer, Journalist (Pisces) – he flung open the door, rushed in and started grabbing  a few clothes, “where are you going son” his mother asked worriedly,“to Norway” he responded…that afternoon while walking the waterfront, deep in thought, he had suddenly stopped in front of a massive ship and had been seized by an inexplicable urge, “the ship leaves at 12 noon” the sailor on guard had told him…Hector Blomberg was gone for two years during which he visited far away lands and exotic ports of call; he returned with a suitcase full of poems…at the age of seventeen he had received his first recognition, a gold medal for his poem “Ode To Spain”…in time he would become one of Argentina’s great men of letters leaving behind an extensive collection of poetry books, historical novels, plays, newspaper articles, children’s books and several immortal tangos…being fluent in German and English he even found time to translate noted writers in those languages

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He was born in the neighborhood of Montserrat in Buenos Aires; his mother, originally from Paraguay, was herself a writer and a translator…his father was an engineer and a descendant of a long line of Norwegian sailors from whom he fell heir to his passion for the sea and for travel…sometime in the late 1920s he was introduced to singer Ignacio Corsini with whom a lifelong friendship would flourish…in collaboration with guitarist Enrique Maciel they would author a waltz “La Pulpera de Santa Lucia” which was a great hit and would launch a renowned career for Corsini; the three would collaborate on a number of other successful tango like “El Adios de Gabino Ezeiza” and “La Que Morio en Paris”…”La Pulpera de Santa Lucia” was originally on of Hector’s historical novels which continues in circulation to our very day as a collector’s item at prices many times its original cost…the kind of person Hector was, revealed itself in 1920 in a poetry contest; when it came to his attention that he would be awarded first prize, he argued with the jury that the second place designee’s entry was better than his  and really deserving of first place and in fact the order of the awards was changed

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1907, March 16 – BIRTH OF ISABEL DEL VALLE

She was in a trance, her eyes swelled with tears, the pain of her humiliation as she returned home was almost undearable…she had gone personally to see the brothel owner La Ritana whom persistent rumors said she was Carlos Gardel’s lover…to her dismay, not only did La Ritana admit that, yes, she was his lover but that she had given as a gift to Carlitos a precious pekinese puppy; that was the very puppy that Carlos had in turn given to her…Isabella for her whole life never tired of repeating  that she was Carlos Gardel’s only real love…she claimed she was not jealous, “Jealousy, me,  never, a woman who loves a man like Carlos Gardel can never harbor undignified sentiments like jealousy” and yet not only did she go to see La Ritana but also another woman rumored to have been Gardel’s lover Mona Maris about whom she said “I got fed up with her declarations, she was only an adventure for him, the slut threw herself shameslessly on him”…Isabel del Valle was born in the neighborhood of Costitucion, Buenos Aires to a her father was a railroad manager….

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The fateful day occurred on the corner of  Sarmientos and Pellegrini Street where through her brother’s friend she met Carlos for the first time; she was fourteen years old, he was thirty four…the next day, Carlos showed up at the house with the ingredients to have Isabella’s mother prepare Valencian style rice….a long and at times tumultuous relationship ensued which to one Gardel scholar was merely a love of formal appearance with no real passion behind it….nevertheless over the years not only Isabella but the whole family became dependent on Carlos’s generosity…there was even some evidence that her brothers had blackmailed Gardel into giving them a large some of money by threatening to accuse him of child molestation as Isabella had been only fourteen years old when he began his relationship with her…Isabell had once said proudly, “yes I was fourteen but my body was already that of a real woman”…it is known that Gardel had relationships with many women but without ever apparently developing a deep love with any of them; there were even rumors that he was gay…he once said, “I never fall in love…all women are worthwhile of loving, but to have a blind adherence to one is to offend the others”

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1906, March 14 – BIRTH OF RODOLFO BIAGI

Leader, Composer, Pianist (Pisces) – sitting still in class for little Rudy was not easy; his soul was restless…his forays into the realm of day dreaming more often than not, brought him reprimand “Rudy, pay attention”…but lurking inside was a genius who would one day change the world of tango…in his brief three years with the Juan D’arienzo orchestra, his innovative beat on piano would help usher in “danceable tango”  and reinvigorate tango in the forties by appealing to young people…Rodolfo Biagi was born in the neighborhood of San Telmo, Buenos Aires to struggling Italian immigrants…he caused a family crisis when at the end of grammar school, young Rodolfo insisted on leaving school; his parent reluctantly agreed but they enrolled him in the conservatory of the newspaper “La Prensa” to study piano…being strong willed and independent, at the age of thirteen, without his parents’ consent he began playing in a silent film cinema

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One evening the legendary Juan Maglio (Pacho) happened to be in the cinema and was stunned by the precocious teenager at piano; he eventually accepted him into his orchestra, he was only fifteen…a major break occurred when in 1930 Jose Razzano interceded him backstage to ask him to accompany Carlos Gardel on a series of recordings…on April 1, 1930 he found himself next to the legendary Carlos Gardel in the recording studio…soon after he worked with a number of orchestras and along the way composed his first tango “Indeferencia” with lyrics by Juan Carlos Thorry…Rodolfo was a frequent customer of the Cabaret Chantecler where the Juan D’arienzo played nightly…his pianist Lidio Fasoli was notoriously late and one evening D’arienzo could endure no more and on the spot asked Rodolfo to take over at piano: with D’arienzo he would record 71 tangos…in 1938 Biagi left to start his own orchestra which debuted on September 16, 1938 at the Cabaret Marabu…in its long run his orchestra would record some immortal hits like the waltz “Lagrimas Y Sonrisas” and the tango “Quiero Verte Una Vez Mas” with singer Jorge Ortiz

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1910, March 12 – BIRTH OF JUANITA LARRAURI

Singer (Pisces) – “she gave up a promising and glorious career to work for a tyrant” , was the comment of one of her disappointed fans when she gave up singing to become part of the idolatrous legions of Peronism…carried away by her political passion she would dare to say, “Peron is the only sovereign”…critics agree that she had the voice and the personality to have become a major star…she was born in the neighborhood of Floresta in Buenos Aires and already as a little girl her love of singing became apparent in her penchant for humming as she was playing with her dolls…she began singing in the private festivals of neighborhood friends and relatives; it was whispered that she would become a great singer…her first break came at the age of twenty-one when she was featured on Radio Nacional (later Radio Belgrano) and the response from the public was enthusiastic; invitations from other radio stations quickly followed

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In 1936 she recorded her first disc; on one side “Castigo” by Juan Polito and on the other side “Sueno Fue” by Luis Rubenstein…although she made some short tours abroad, her career was almost entirely on radio…during one of those radio gigs she fell in love with violinist and orchestra leader Francisco Rotundo whom she would marry in 1949…during one of Peron’s speeches she became infected with his politics and became a fervent worker in his movement; at a certain point she left singing to devote herself to the cause…along the way she became a trusted friend of Eva Peron who appointed her the national director for the women’s Peronist movement; in 1952 she was elected senator on the party ticket…she returned to the air waves briefly when she recorded the Peronist Party hymn “Evita Capitana”…in 1972 she attempted a come back with her album “Canto Para Mi pueblo”; her fans were pleased that the voice that had made her so beloved thirty years earlier was still there

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