Argentine tango new generation does the revolution

Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:34pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Luis Andres Henao

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Osvaldo Pugliese, one of Argentina's most famous composers, used to say that tango doesn't start to make sense until you are in your thirties.

But a young generation of musicians, lyricists and composers are proving him wrong.

Moving away both from purist rhythms and the electronic fusions of the late 1990s, the new generation fills up venues playing compositions with contemporary themes that aim to put tango back in the spotlight on the national scene.

"They're recovering tango's history, not just the golden age but its grittier origins," said Sergio Pujol, a historian and author of "Argentine Songs: 1910-2010."

"They're going back to compositions that speak to a cruder, more complex social reality. It's an interesting, less traveled road."

Instead of an older man in a suit, slouched hat and slicked back hair, Julian Bruno, 27, walked on stage recently wearing a plaid shirt, his hair in a pony tail, looking more like a grunge band member than a tango singer.

"It's a myth that tango doesn't make sense to you until you're older," said Bruno, a singer with the 12-member Ciudad Baigon Orchestra. "We're making new tango that speaks about today's reality using a current language."

The tango -- born in 19th century in the ports of Buenos Aires and danced in the early morning hours after work by prostitutes and dockworkers -- originally spoke about a cruder reality often using a slang known as "lunfardo".   Continued...

<p>Musicians German Sanchez, Pablo Jonisz and Ignacio Santos (L-R) of the Orquesta Tipica Ciudad Baigon perform during a show in Buenos Aires August 5, 2011. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci</p>