Posts Tagged ‘ buenos aires ’

1988, January 27 – PREMIERE OF “TANGO BAR”

“Tonight Antonio will walk into Tango Bar, will walk through that door, back into your life, our lives says” says Ricardo, “There is nothing left between Antonio and I, nor fire nor ashes, you are only hurting yourself needlessly” , Elena responds to Ricardo trying to reassure him, …”Tango Bar” is a movie about a classic love triangle…Antonio, a bandoneon player and singer, had fled  Argentina during the period of state sponsored terrorism to save his life leaving behind his wife, tango singer Elena with his show business partner, pianist and songwriter Ricardo…in the mean time Ricardo and Elena have fallen in love…Ricardo is played by Raul Julia, Antonio by Ruben Juarez and Elena by Valeria Lynch; the film was directed by Marcos Zurinaga with music by Attilo Stampone .

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Throughout the movie, there are flashbacks to the duo’s sellout show 11 years earlier, called ‘Este es Tango’ (This is Tango) including a series of dance sequences that illustrate the history including a tango danced in a sumptuous Buenos Aires brothel, a 1920s European style tango, a street tango, a stage show, Abott and Costello dancing Tango and even the cartoon Flintstones dancing the tango…the pinnacle is an authentic ‘tango argentino’ where Antonio, in a bit of provincialism says, “this is tango danced the right way by the people who dance it best”…Valeria Lynch was born on January 7, 1952 (Capricorn) in the Villa Urquiza neighborhood of Buenos Aires…for a time she was a singer for the rock group “The Expression” but in the 1990s she became a tango singer and made successful tours all over the world…Tango Bar was also the name of a movie made by Carlos Gardel in 1935; it was his last film before dying tragically in an airplane crash in Medellin, Colombia in June of 1935

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1904, January 25 – BIRTH OF ANTONIO RODIO

Composer, Leader, Violinist (Acquarius) – Francesca Pumarola put on a brave face, but little Antonio, hugging his threadbare coat , sensed the terror in his mother’s soul as they set out that morning from the town of Crispiano, in the ancient greek province of Puglia in Southern Italy to the port of Napoli to begin the long and arduous journey to Buenos Aires…half a century later having finally found the peace he had dreamed of in Vina del Mar in Northern Chile, he would speak of that day, “I still see that look in mother’s eyes”, he recalled…arriving finally at their destination, they found a small house in a conventillo among other struggling immigrants; cramped quarters for a family of nine…at the age of six he began his music studies with the maestro Mario Rossner on the upper floor of the tea-room Santa Lucía…by the age of eight he had completed elementary studies and then entered the conservatory…two years later he graduated as a superior professor of violin….He began his professional career at the age of 11 working at the Orchestra Classica at the Empire Cinema.

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When the prestigious Colon Theater Classical Orchestra held auditions, out of countless candidates, Antonio won the seat; he soon became concert master, one of the youngest in the history of the orchestra…..by the age of 25 he had established a reputation as one of the best violinists in Argentina…in his career he was to work with the legends of tango…Carlos Gardel, Osvaldo Fresedo, Ada Falco, Agustin Magaldi, Pedro Mafia, Azucena Maizani..in 1936 he formed his own orchestra calling it “Los Poetas Del Tango” with Miguel Ninjensohn on piano and Francisco Fiorentino on vocals….Little did he realize, when in 1945, he agreed to accompany Miguel Calo on a tour of South America how it would change his life….on a stop over at the resort town of Vina del Mar he realized that he was strangely content; he would remain there for the rest of his life …in the early part of 1980 he was diagnosed with throat cancer and just a few months later, the little boy who had arrived from the ancient greek province of Puglia in Southern Italy in a threadbare coat passed away at the age of 76…among his numerous compositions are great hits like Angustias, Parece Mentira, Amore Brujo and Cosas Olvidadas made into a hit by Roberto Goyeneche.

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1933, January 23 – Gardel Records “LA CANCION DE BUENOS AIRES”

Who knows that if Carlos Gardel had not recorded “La Cancion de Buenos Aires” it might have been just another of the thousands of tangos with momentary flashes to then be relegated to the dust bin of oblivion…instead this piece, which was written by Orestes Cufaro and Azucena Maizani, is one of the most successful tangos in history…it would be hard to find a tango performer of renown who has not recorded it…twice it was made into a film; in 1945 directed by Julio Irigoyen and in 1980 directed by Fernando Siro…it was a minor hit for singer Alberto Castillo when he sang it in Manuel Romero’s 1948 film El Tango Vuelve a Paris…Orestes Cufaro was born in the city of Rosario, Argentina where his father was a pianist and an orchestra director…his father was his first teacher and it soon became evident that young Orestes was a child prodigy…he made his performance debut at the age of eleven at the Belgrano Cinema as the pianist for the Abel Bedruna Orchestra; he was so impressive that he soon found himself playing in the best cafes, cinemas and theaters in Rosario…

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At age 18 he made the big move to Buenos Aires where he debuted at Radio Prieto; along the way he met singer Azucena Maizani  who would record his first tango “Usted Sabe Senor Juez” ….within these circles he came to know playwrite and future icon of the Argentinean film industry Manuel Romero who asked him to write a theme song for his play “La Cancion de Buenos Aires”; for this he sought the collaboration of Azucena Maizani …Carlos Gardel was very fond of Azucena; he seemed to take an almost fatherly concern for her, frequently inquiring of Orestes about her well being…it was out of friendship for Azucena that Gardel agreed to record “La Cancion de Buenos Aires”….Orestes would compose a number of other hits including “Vencido” and “Una y Mil Noches”…Manuel Romero was one of the most successful lyricists in history; Carlos Gardel himself recorded 19 of his tangos…Romero would write 180 plays and direct 53 films in his career all them with similar characteristics; simple and heart-moving scripts where the typical characters were the poor young lover, the young rich girl in love with him and the cavalier son of a tycoon who vies for her hand

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1842, January 22 – BIRTH OF ELOISA DE SILVA

Eloisa de Silva came into contact with Argentina when she accompanied her father to Brasil to sell beef to feed the slaves…in the port of Buenos Aires she was first exposed to Tango and was immediately enthralled with the music; years later she would become the  first women in history to compose a tango…Eloisa de Silvia was born in ancient port city of Cadiz in Spain to a noble family; her father was a baron and her maternal grandmother was a duchess from the city of Foggia in the ancient greek province of Apuglia in southern Italy…as a child she showed keen interest in music and her father procured lessons for her with non other than Franz Liszt who was much in demand throughout europe and already in his time it was whispered that he was the greatest pianist of all time…Eloisa so impressed Liszt that he dubbed her “the Chopin in skirts”….at age 13 she played her first concert in Spain at the Teatro Real de Madrid; it was the first of many she would perform in Europe’s most elegant capitols…she would eventually win awards from her majestys Queen Isabel II of Spain and Queen Victoria of England…

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As her father was the owner of large estates in Cuba, she settled there for some time…she developed a mystical connection to the land and people of Cuba and in her letters she liked to assert that she was Cuban…here she continued her musical studies with legendary American pianist Maureu Gottschaulk; she accompanied him to his performance at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires in 1868; on a stop over she met dashing, debonair Uruguayan nobleman Federico de Silva, “it was love at first sight” she would recount years later…two years later, she married him in Buenos Aires  at the church of La Piedad in a grand and luxurious ceremony befitting a royal head of Europe and which became part of popular myth for many generations to come…Federico de Silva was president of the philharmonic society and he encouraged his wife’s musical activities…one day he was stunned and outraged to find his wife dabbling in tango; it was the music of the petty criminals and whores….she however secretly continued; her tango compositions include “El Maco”, “El Queco” (whorehouse), Evangelica” (released as cuban tango), “El Mozo Rubio”, “Que Si, Que No”, “Marcha Funebre a Sarmiento” and many others that remain in private collections erroneously authored as “anonymous” …she was an inspiration to the first woman bandoneon player, Paquita Bernardo…she continued composing for many years long after her husband was deceased; she live to the age of 101

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1926, January 21- PREMIERE “ME MIRO EN TUS OJOS”

Singer Juan Carlos Marambio Catan never let the bright lights of a successful career sway his natural humility  and when in 1943 he had had enough and withdrew from singing, he did it as he had lived, with humility…interestingly he became the subject of a minor popular controversy; whether or not his had been the voice in the catchy Geniol radio commercials which had so invaded the public waves; coyly, he never said…he was however the voice of the tango “Me Miro En Tus Ojos” (I see myself in your eyes) which premiered on January 21, 1926 at the Teatro Smart in the stage play “Carne de Vicio”; both the tango and the play were written by Ricardo Hicken who in time would become a pioneer writer and director in Argentinean film history…in fact his film “Los Caballeros del Cemento” was the first Argentinean film to be distributed by Hollywood

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Juan Carlos Marambio Catan was born in the town of Bahia Blanca and began singing in the local cafes when he was still a child…he made his professional singing debut in Paraguay…on May 26, 1924 he cut his first recording for the Victor company accompanied by the Agusto Berto Orchestra; his selections were “Perjura” and ” Tengo Celos”…that same year, it was he who sang “Bizochito” the first tango written by the legendary Enrique Santos Discepolo…eventually his career would take him all over the world including a European tour and a stopover in Egypt with the Julio de Caro orchestra….as a lyricist he had some notable successes like “El Monito” and  “Buen Amigo but his masterpiece “Acquaforte”, which was a hit for both Carlos Gardel and Agustin Magaldi, would assure that his name never be forgotten…in the latter part of his life, he moved to the city of Mendoza where he became a school teacher where he was much admired for his devotion to his students.

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1949, January 20 – PREMIERE “UN TROPEZON CUALQUIERA…”

Walking into the imposing offices of Radio Belgrano in 1939, coy 12 year old Virginia Luque instinctively grabbed her father’s hand….he had convinced her to try the singing contest and promised her that he would remain near her…at the end of the long ordeal, competing with hundreds of others, she had won; she would remember for the rest of  her life that look of pride and love in the teary eyes of her father….that little girl would grow up to be one of the most versatile show business professionals of all time…not only was she a natural actress but had a melodious, engageing voice as well…she would perform all over the world not only in her native Spanish but in Galician, French, Portuguese, Japanese and even Yidish in Israel; her introduction to tango came in 1946, in the play “La Canción De Los Barrios” in which Francisco Canaro had her sing the classic “Si Tu me Quisieras”… she would star in over 20 films…in “Un Tropezon Culaquiera Da En La Vida” she plays the part of sister who, to save her brother, has herself locked up in her house…

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The film was directed by Manuel Romero and is typical Romero fare, a comedy with a love story and lots of tango…Manuel Romero had a terrible temper and was difficult to work for; he worked frenetically, writing as he went along, finishing his film as soon as possible…perhaps he was energized by the considerable gambling debts he had; he would make 53 films in his career…one of the highlights of the film is Alberto Castillo’s delivery of the classic “Chorra” whose music and lyrics were both composed by the legendary Enrique Santos Discepolo…Alberto Castillo was a board certified gynecologist by day and a crooner by night…his practise was so invaded by young girls with secondary motives that he finally had to reluctantly leave medicine and devote himself to singing

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1924, January 19 – BIRTH OF JORGE DURAN

Singer (Capricorn) – Singing was so much in his soul that in his final days, laying on a hospital bed in the painful advanced stages of emphysema, the result of a life time of chain-smoking, he continued to serenade the nurses…he had lived a bohemian life, a lover of women and fine champagne; he was oddly content right up to the end…in one of those inexplicable mysterys of fate however, he would never attain the recognition commensurate with the precision and elegance of his voice; the same voice that delivered his great hit “Porteno Y Bailerin” backed by the Carlos Di Sarli orchestra…he would join Di Sarli twice in his career, the first one, in 1945, lasting two years, the best period of his career and the second in 1956 during which he made 19 recordings…indeed a young Jorge Duran had come to the attention of Maestro Di Sarli who had personally gone to hear him at a Cafe; he hired him immediately…the very next day he debuted with Di Sarli on Radio Mundo

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Jorge was born in the town of San Juan to Andalusian immigrant parents who had a small fruit growing business and winery…during the periods of rest the family and the workers would engage in gay sing-alongs and it is there that  little Jorge discovered his love for singing…at age 18 he began singing in the cafes and tea rooms in Buenos Aires…one evening the bandoneonist Jorge Argentino happened to hear him and was immediately struck by  his voice and asked him to join his orchestra; he  debuted on Radio Mitre where the response from the public was enthusiastic…the next break came when Buenaventura Luna heard him and invited him to join his famous Tropilla de Huancho Pampa show…it is with them that he records his first record “Zamba del Gaucho” on March 13, 1944…for his entire career he was known as “El Cajon (the coffin)…standing at the end of a long corridor, wearing a grey, wide lapel suit against a back light, a fellow musician had remarked that he looked like a “cajon”…somehow the moniker stuck and would remain with him for the rest of his life …two other great hits of his which have remained in constant play to our very days were “Una Tarde y Nada Mas” and “Whiskey”

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1913, January 17 – “L. Arola” changes name to “E. Arolas”

Composer, Leader, Bandoneonist (Capricorn) – one day he arrived home at an unexpected hour and found his beloved wife Delia in bed with his older brother; he would never really recovered from it and would die just a few years later from complications of alcoholism alone in a hospital on the outskirts of Paris at the age of 32….Eduardo Arolas was however probably  the greatest tango composer of all time; among his nearly 100 compositions were great hits like “El Marne”, “La Cachila”, “Lagrimas, “Maipo”, “Viborita” and “Derecho Viejo”…he had met Delia Lopez “La Chiquita” in a brothel in the town of Bragado where he had been hired to play; she was seductive, enchanting, self-possessed and for reasons even he did not understand he fell for her like he had never done so before in his life…he would write two tangos for her “Delia” and “Nariz”…Eduardo Arolas (from the original Lorenzo Arola) was born to French immigrant parents Henri Arola and Marguerite Saury in the neighborhood of Barracas, Buenos Aires.

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From an early at age he began demonstrating precocious musical ability and became self-taught in a number of musical instruments although he finally devoted himself to the bandoneon..at the age of 17 he composed his first tango “Una Noche de Garufa” which Francisco Canaro had to transcribe for him as he did not write music; the next year he formed his first orchestra…..it was the beginning of a prolific career and a tragic life…money was not a problem, the success of his compositions made him a man of means and he made the most of it living the bohemian life of a dandy with fine champagne, the cigarette in a very long cigarette holder and gold rings over his gloves…bordellos were his preferred places and at times he was also a pimp to a select clientele….but Delia never left his soul; alcohol soothed the pain…it is said that during performances he frequently had a bottle of gin next to him but nevertheless he was a brilliant and energetic performer and was much in demand……that night, September 29, 1924, the nurses asked him about friends or  loved ones; he mouthed that he had non and with only a kind nurse by his side, at 6:55 in the afternoon, murmuring “Delia” he closed his eyes for the last time.

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  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NGk6aZA3A8 to see “La Yunta Trio” play Eduardo Arolas’s  “Nariz” which was inspired by Delia’s particular habit of touching her nose with her fingers

1913, January 15 – BIRTH OF FELIX LIPESKER

Composer, Bandoneonist (Capricorn) – Ana Dobin was in the final throes of death, her emaciated, twitching body in liver failure, the result of an abortion attempt using laundry bluing which had been recommended by a neighbor…her husband Jose was trying to encourage her but she was more interested in last-minute exhortations for the care of her six children, especially the three year old, that she would soon be leaving behind…she fell silent for a moment before adding one final request, that he should never bring another woman into her house; to this he consented and in fact Jose would never remarry…that evening Ana slipped into a coma and soon after passed away; she was thirty-five years old…Ana had arrived in Rosario, Argentina at the age of 17 with her husband Jose embarking on the arduous journey from Odessa, Russia where pogroms were a constant danger…Jose was a cap maker and in Rosario his small shop eventually grew to have 20 employees

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Felix was the second oldest child and from the moment he touched his older brother German’s bandoneon he was transfixed by it and through his relentless tinkering, he learned to play it…German procurred lessons for him and one year later he was playing in the local cafes with his teacher’s orchestra… the first tango Felix composed  was “A Rosario Central”; inspired by the local football team of which the whole family were ardent fans…they sold the sheet music with a photo of the team on it for 10 cents in front of the stadium….news of this remarkable young man came to the ear of Julio de Caro in far away Buenos Aires and eventually he hired him…years later his wife would prevail upon him to renounce the tiring, sleepless musicians life; Felix became an entrepreneur…he started a conservatory, developed a famous method for learning to play bandoneon which he sold by mail and even bought a music publishing company…among his numerous compositions are three waltzes which were hits “Romantica”, “Gotta de Lluvia” and “Tu Nombre” and the milonga “Arrabal”

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  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIoK772zve0 to hear one of Felix’s greatest hits, the waltz “Gotta De LLuvia” (raindrops) sung in duet by Argentino Ledesma and Raul Lavie from the television program Grandes Valores Del Tango

1916 January 14 – BIRTH OF ENRIQUE FRANCINI

Composer, Leader, Violinist (Capricorn) – it was the evening of August 27, 1978 and Enrique Francini, on the stage of the legendary Cano 14, was basking in glory; the reward of a life time of hard work and his unflinching devotion to his violin…he was playing “Nostalgias, one of his favorite tango when suddenly he dropped his violin, grabbed his chest and fell over, he was dead at the age of 62…the little boy from the town of  Zarate had come a long way from the humble surroundings where very early on he knew he wanted to become a violinist…his father, with considerable sacrifice, enrolled in the mythical Juan Ehlert School of Music where he was to meet another young student, Armando Pontier; their careers and their lives would be intertwined for the next 40 years…Enrique was immensely dedicated to the violin and his hard work earned him an invitation from the maestro, along with Pontier, to travel to Buenos Aires to play on Radio Prieto ….

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The audience response was ecstatic and the two wide-eyed boys then found themselves playing at the famous Juan Manuel’s Matinee.…in 1939 both Francini and Pontier joined a recently formed Miguel Calò orchestra where for six years they matured as musicians and as friends….six years later they would both break away from Calò to form their own orchestra…they debuted on September 1, 1945 at the opening of “Tango Bar”…two young and aspiring singers, who would themselves one day be greats, would join the group, Alberto Podestà and Raul Beron…Radio Mundo soon hired them, through whose broadcasts, they developed a legion of young fans who packed places like El Piccadily” and the “Ebro Bar” and later the renown “Tibidabo Cabaeret”….Enrique and Armando would later make two tours of Japan together…Perhaps Enrique’s best known compositions are the milonga Azabache and two beloved waltzes Bajo un Cielo de Estrellas and “Pedacito de Cielo”

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