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Argentine Tango School

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“En un beso la vida” by Carlos Di Sarli y su Orquesta Típica with Roberto Rufino, 1940.

Roberto Rufino. Argentine music at Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires.Roberto Rufino

Singer and composer

(6 January 1922 – 24 February 1999)

Listening to Roberto Rufino when he sang “María” or “La novia ausente” or “Malena” or any of the tangos he had chosen for his repertoire, was to realize that that tango was unraveling little by little and that the words sprang up separately, without forsaking the whole that gathered them, with the proper strength they had to have in their context.

Rufino was that: a storyteller, a phraser, an interpreter that perfectly knew which was the meaning of what he was singing.

He was born on January 6, 1922, on 753 Agüero Street —in the heart of the neighborhood of el Abasto—, son of Lorenzo Rufino and Agustina Guirin, although in his birth certificate is written the day he was filed on the records, on the 8th day of that same month and year. A little bit yonder, on Agüero and Guardia Vieja Streets, the café O’Rondeman was where Carlos Gardel attempted his early songs. A premonition? Maybe, because Rufino also started at the old café of his neighborhood, which still was run by the Traverso brothers. But there is a further coincidence: in the same year, 1935, his father and Gardel died. And in 1936, a few days after the cortege which was mourning Carlitos to his final abode had passed along Corrientes street, “El pibe del Abasto” —as he was called since the early days at O’Rondeman, made his professional debut; he was also called “El pibe Terremoto”— at the Café El Nacional, as the vocalist of the Francisco Rosse typical orchestra, to switch, a little bit later, to Petit Salón, with Antonio Bonavena orchestra, composer of “Pájaro ciego” and uncle of the would-be boxer.

But we are still in the singer’s prehistory. Continue reading at

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“Champagne Tango” by Carlos Di Sarli y su Orquesta Típica, 1958.

Argentine Tango dance classes at Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires with Marcelo SolisManuel Aróztegui

Pianist and composer

(4 January 1888 – 14 November 1938)

He was an Oriental (Uruguayan) born in Montevideo on January 4, 1888. This is the exact date given by his nephew Bernardo, a pianist, who, besides exhibiting documents, stated that the right spelling of the family name is with “z” and not with “s”. As we found a certain generalized confusion about that, we think we have cleared out the issue.

Héctor Bates and Luis Bates (in La Historia del Tango) mention bibliographic references of the composer we are talking about. We include a summary of them:

«He was a little above one year old when he settled in Buenos Aires with his family. He studied up to third degree in grammar school, because he admitted he used to play truant. He carried out varied trades.

«His devotion for music was born after he heard Pacho who, by that time (1905), played at a café placed on Thames and Guayanas (now Niceto Vega).

«In his spare time he devoted himself to learn music: guitar, mandolin and violin. Finally he chose piano; his first lessons were taught by a hatter named Leopoldo, later he continued with Carlos Hernani Macchi. Continue reading at

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“Loca” by Juan D’Arienzo y su Orquesta Típica, 1942.

Juan D'Arienzo. Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires and Marcelo Solis offer Argentine Tango lessons in the San Francisco Bay AreaJuan D’Arienzo: El Rey del compás

Violinist, leader and composer
(14 December 1900 – 14 January 1976)

In 1949 D’Arienzo said: «In my point of view, tango is, above all, rhythm, nerve, strength and character.

Early tango, that of the old stream (guardia vieja), had all that, and we must try not to ever lose it. Because we forgot that, Argentine tango entered into a crisis some years ago. Putting aside modesty, I did all was possible to make it reappear.» Continue reading at

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“El Pescante” by Lucio Demare y su Orquesta Típica with Raúl Berón (1943)

Homero Manzi. Argentine music at Escuela de tango de Buenos Aires.Homero Manzi

Poet and lyricist
(November 1, 1907 – May 3, 1951)

Manzi has given, like no one else, poetry to tango lyrics. However, he was a poet who never published a book of poems.

His poetry was evidenced only through songs, from country themes to urban music, the latter where he would be at his best. In this way he became immensely popular without giving up his poet feelings.

He resorted to metaphors, even surrealist, but never so much as to prevent ordinary people from fully understanding his message. Continue reading at

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“Gricel” by Anibal Troilo y su Orquesta Típica with Francisco Fiorentino in vocals, 1942.

Listen to “Gricel” by Anibal Troilo y su Orquesta Típica with Francisco Fiorentino (1942):

José María Contursi. Argentine Tango music at Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires from Marcelo Solis collection.José María Contursi

A lyricist essentially poetic, sensitive and prolific, José María Contursi created a great number of hits. His huge work reveals a creator of even inspiration, careful and experienced though somewhat reiterative in his themes and only exceptionally original and truly daring. This prevents him from being among the supreme authors although some of his lyrics deserve to be within the most consummated of the genre. In fact, he aided, as few did, with his refined language to raise the average quality of the tango canción ( tango with lyrics to be sung ). He conceived numerous celebrated pieces in collaboration with various of the best composers, who saw in him a crafted lyricist, whose verses always produced the appropriate mood. His first known work, the waltz “Tu nombre”, dates from 1933, almost 20 years after his father Pascual Contursi, gave birth to the tango canción on some little Montevideo nights. Continue reading at