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February 26, 2013 > Music at the Mission presents Tango Apasionado

Music at the Mission presents Tango Apasionado

Submitted By Aileen Chanco

Continuing its tradition of classical chamber music concerts "outside the box" at Old Mission San Jose in Fremont, Music at the Mission presents "Tango Apasionado" in a performance showcasing the influences surrounding the music of Astor Piazzolla, who revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed Tango Nuevo. The concert will take place on Thursday, March 7 beginning with a 7:15 p.m. pre-concert talk followed by the 8 p.m. concert featuring Bay Area Nuevo tango group Quinteto Quilombo, which consists of bandoneonista Seth Asarnow, violinist Ertan Torgul, pianist Aileen Chanco, guitarist Paul Binkley, and double bassist Bill Everett. They will be joined by organist Ron MacKean, clarinetist and saxophonist Michael Corner, and tango dancers Count Glover and Mariana Ancarola.

Tango Nuevo, which infuses classical forms and jazz elements into the traditional tango music of Argentina, was so controversial in the beginning that Piazzolla had his life threatened on numerous occasions. Born out of the bordellos of Buenos Aires, its passion and its sensuality characterize its music. With his innovative style and desire to "legitimize" the tango, Piazzolla was persuaded by his composition teacher, the renowned pedagogue, Nadia Boulanger, to concentrate on the music of his heritage and develop his own style rather than continue on as a purely classical composer. He changed the face of music forever with the birth of his new genre, "Tango Nuevo." Not only did Piazzolla revolutionize tango through the infusion of classical and jazz elements but also by including unusual instrumentation, often fusing electronic and acoustic sounds such as the saxophone and electric guitar.

The program will begin with "Organ Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 549" by J.S. Bach on Old Mission San Jose's famed Spanish-style organ, op. 14 built in 1989 by Manuel Rosales. The piece will be followed by California-based Argentine composer Pablo Ortiz's "Hipermilonga for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano." Ortiz is currently on faculty at UC Davis and has received numerous prizes and commissions worldwide for his compositions, which have been described as "grounded" in the popular music of his native Argentina. Also included will be a piece for solo bandoneon entitled, "Golondrinas" (Swallows), composed by legendary tango musician Carlos Gardel, who once invited the young Piazzolla to tour with him and his orchestra before perishing in a plane crash that would have also killed Piazzolla had his father allowed him to join them on tour. The remainder of the program will feature some of Astor Piazzolla's most admired works including "Adios Nonino," "Tangata," and "Rough Dancer," which will be depicted in part by the choreography of Bay Area dancers Count Glover and Mariana Ancarola.

Glover is a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer of Argentine Tango who has studied with some of the world's most renowned tango maestros. He is a well-rounded, versatile dancer and performer with a tap and ballet background that began at the age of two with his grandmother's dance company in Chicago. Glover is also a well-received social dancer of tango and is adept at all forms of tango from all time periods and considered one of the best dancers of Argentine Tango in San Francisco.

Raised in Spain by Argentine parents, Mariana Ancarola grew up listening to tango music. It was as an adolescent, in 1996, when she began to dance Argentine Tango. Since then she has often traveled to Buenos Aires to study with the masters of tango: Gustavo Naveira and Giselle Anne, Mariano Frumboli and Lucia Mazer, Julio Balmaceda and Corina de la Rosa, among others. Ancarola has taught and performed tango full time during the last 11 years with her professional partner David Orly-Thompson, becoming very well-received tango dancers in many different cities in Spain and the United States.

This concert is made possible through the Musical Grant Program, which is administered by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music and supported by the Heller Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, and the San Francisco Grants for the Arts.

Tickets are priced at $25 for general admission and $20 for students and seniors at the door and may be purchased in advance online with an additional fee of $3.50 for general admission tickets and $3 for students and seniors. They may be purchased online at or Doors open 6:45 p.m. and the Pre-Concert Talk will begin at 7:15 p.m. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. and will be followed by a reception at Mission Coffee, 151 Washington Boulevard, in Fremont.

Music at the Mission
Tango Apasionado
Thursday, Mar 7
7:15 p.m. Pre-Concert Talk
8 p.m. Concert
Old Mission San Jose Church
43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont
(510) 402-1724
Tickets: $23 - $28.50

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