Moshe Shulman and his friends host a double celebration
A local audience favorite group, the Tango Orkestra begins the celebration of the release of its debut CD this Friday January 12 at 7;30pm at the Pausa Art House, 19 Wadsworth Street in Allentown. The next day, Saturday January 13 the CD release party continues at 7:00pm at the Nativity Lutheran Church, 970 East Main Street in East Aurora.
Formed by Moshe Shulman in the summer of 2012 upon returning from a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Buffalo Tango Orkestra began by performing a traditional type of Argentine tango—classic, well-known pieces arranged using a mix of classical music, Italian opera, and African folk rhythm. But very quickly, they found themselves creating their own arrangements, evolving from the diverse cultural origins of the group—Uruguay, Italy, Ukraine, Dominican Republic, the U.S., Argentina, Israel, and Russia. And to hear them tell the story, they deliberately decided to let that diversity guide them musically. “We have tangos in every flavor imaginable, from refined and subdued to raw and impassioned—even Russian cartoon songs arranged into ‘milonga’ style,” says Moshe. “Anything could be turned into tango.”
Of course, they do play the music of Astor Piazzola, the acknowledged master of Argentine tango nuevo. But while other tango groups may devote themselves to playing Piazzolla’s music (and indeed, all Argentine tango music) as it is “meant” to be played, they see this genre as a way to express the natural friction between the individuals in the group—a quality that burns within each instrument, from the genre-defining bandoneon to the vocal and violin melodies, all the way down to the double bass and piano that form the rhythm section.
“Tango taps into the romance of our nostalgic soul—the same nostalgia that captures you when you listen to old music or watch black-and-white films,” says Moshe. “But that idea of nostalgia only becomes poignant when it is personal, when the music acts as a bridge between what once was and the vibrant color of the present. To truly experience tango music, you must allow yourself to remain in that deep feeling of loss which connects those two worlds, if only for a moment. This is where tango comes from, and this is where tango lives—within those echoes of the past.”
All songs on the CD are arranged by Moshe Shulman, who also plays the bandoneon, the Argentine concertina which is an essential element in any tango ensemble. No fewer than three talented vocalists are featured: Miguel Benitez, Victoria Pérez-Maggiolo and Chris Vasquez. BPO principal second violin Antoine Lefebvre, Moshe’s wife Miranda Shulman and Sonsoles Llodra are the violinists, James Marone the double bassist, and Ivan Docenko the pianist. The CD was recorded and mixed by sound engineer Chris Jacobs at the University at Buffalo.
For more information and to purchase advance tickets, which is recommended as both events are likely to be sold out, please visit: www.buffalotangoorkestra.com