Sultry sounds of Argentinian Tango Jazz Quartet return to South Africa
Tango Jazz Quartet’s first visit to South Africa was in 2013, where they played to rapt audiences at the Joy of Jazz festival. Their blend of the melodies and rhythms of tango with the harmonies and improvisation of jazz, and their creative approach to this musical fusion, has received an enthusiastic and appreciative response from audiences in Argentina as well as internationally.
The music comes from Buenos Aires where, in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the stages at dance halls used to be shared by tango orchestras and jazz bands, with both music genres including an important aspect of improvisation. A cross-pollination between the two styles started to occur and Tango Jazz Quartet has focused on exploring this, playing with various ensembles over the years, and with older tango musicians who played in this “Golden Age” of tango.
Over the last few years, the band has established itself on the international music scene and tours regularly to some of the most recognised and respected jazz clubs and festivals in the world. Some highlights from recent years include the Hong Kong Jazz Festival, the Sunset – Sunside Jazz Club in Paris and the San Jose Summer Jazz Festival in California.
The band plays constantly in Buenos Aires and around Argentina, both at music festivals and concerts, as well as at milongas, where tangueros gather to dance until the small hours of the morning. They even host their own milonga weekly in San Telmo, an older and traditional tango neighbourhood in Buenos Aires.
Tango Jazz Quartet is made up of Alejandro Beelmann on drums, Federico Hilal on bass, Horacio Acosta on piano, and Gustavo Firmenich on tenor saxophone and clarinet. They have released four CDs, with the latest entitled “On Tour 2015”.
Their nine gig tour is supported by the Embassy of Argentina and produced by Nikki Froneman and Proyecto 34°S, continuing with the arts exchange programme that has seen such events as the Argentinian Cultural Week present the cream of this South American country’s arts and culture to the South African public.
Their South African Tour kicks off in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 23 September at top jazz club The Orbit in Braamfontein, followed by a gig on Heritage Day, Thursday 24 September at Winnie’s Soul & Jazz Restaurant in Wendywood. They then move up to Maputo for the Mozambican leg and play at the popular Gil Vicente Café-Bar on Friday, 25 September. They play a milonga on Saturday, 26 September at Central Restaurante, open to all tango dancers. They head back to South Africa and down to Cape Town, and on Thursday 1 October, play at a special Argentinian evening, presented by Nativo Wines and complete with bespoke menu, at Savoy Cabbage restaurant. Friday 2 October sees TJQ playing in the southern peninsula at the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg, with special guest Stanislav Angelov (from the Cape Town Tango Ensemble). On Saturday 3 October, they play another milonga, this time for Cape Town tango dancers, at 6 Spin Street Restaurant, again with a special menu. They finish off with an afternoon concert at the relaxed Jazz in the Native Yards in Gugulethu on Sunday, 4 October.
FULL TOUR SCHEDULE
23 Sept – The Orbit, Braamfontein.
24 Sept – Winnie’s Soul & Jazz Restaurant, Wendywood.
2 Oct – Masque Theatre, Muizenberg.
3 Oct – 6 Spin Street Restaurant (*Milonga).
4 Oct – Jazz in the Native Yards, Kwa Sec, Gugulethu. Bookings : 082 093 5369
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