Tango and jazz blend for the city

2015-09-29 06:00
Argentinian band Tango Jazz Quartet will be performing at the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg on Friday. 

Tres Dharmas Films

Argentinian band Tango Jazz Quartet will be performing at the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg on Friday. PHOTO: Tres Dharmas Films

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The beautiful sounds of the Tango Jazz Quartet will be heard in Cape Town this week as the Argentinian band prepares to perform in the Mother City.

Direct from a multi-country tour of Europe – their fourth in as many years – Tango Jazz Quartet performed sold-out gigs in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Maputo last week. They will end off in Cape Town this week where music lovers and tango dancers are in for a treat.

“We’re really excited to return to South Africa, and to play in Mozambique for the first time,” said band leader Gustavo Firmenich.

“We play all over the world but with the African roots of our music, playing in Africa is very special.”

Tango Jazz Quartet’s first visit to South Africa was in 2013, when they played at the Joy of Jazz festival. Their blend of the melodies and rhythms of tango with the harmonies and improvisation of classic straight-up jazz, and their creative approach to this musical fusion, have received an enthusiastic and appreciative response from audiences in Argentina and elsewhere.

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.

Tango Jazz Quartet is made up of Alejandro Beelmann on drums, Federico Hilal on bass, Horacio Acosta on piano and Gustavo on tenor saxophone and clarinet. They have released four CDs, with the latest entitled On tour 2015.

They’ll perform a special Argentinian evening, presented by Nativo Wines and complete with bespoke menu, at Savoy Cabbage restaurant on Thursday.

The band will be performing at the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg with guest Stanislav Angelov (from the Cape Town Tango Ensemble) on Friday before moving to 6 Spin Street Restaurant on Saturday, where they’ll play a special show for tango dancers.

The band will finish off their Cape Town tour with an afternoon concert at Jazz in the Native Yards in Gugulethu on Sunday.V

Call 021 424 2626 or email info@savoycabbage.co.za for booking or more information about Thursday’s show or call 021 788 1898 or email bookings@­masque­theatre.co.za for their show at the Masque Theatre on Friday. Call 021 461 0666 or email reser­vations@6spinstreet.co.za to book for dinner for the show at 6 Spin Street Restaurant on Saturday or call 082 093 5369 for more about Sunday afternoon’s concert.

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