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October 17, 2005

CD Release Party, Nov. 19 at the Cedar Cultural Center

Anouncing our new CD...

Let's Have Dinner and Go Dancing with Mandrágora Tango

CD Release Party / Milonga

Cedar Cultural Center, November 19, 2005

Hey! We're having another big Tango Ball, but this time to celebrate our new CD Let's Have Dinner and Go Dancing with Mandrágora Tango:

It'll be just like our show at the Varsity Theater last
, but better!

Plus, we are announcing yet another Orchestra gig on Jan 29th at Rossi's Blue Star Room. Watch this blog for details!

"Let's Have Dinner and Go Dancing With Mandrágora Tango" is a collection of tangos, vals (waltzes) and milongas (2-steps) recoded over the past year or so. The tracks range from rollicking guardia vieja (old style) tangos to lush epocha d'ora (golden age) ones, as well as some of Bob Barnes's originals and a curious tango version of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. About half of the tracks are with the full orchestra: 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, piano and accordion. The other half are as a quintet: accordion, violin, guitar and bass with Max Valentinuzzi on piano.

To better capture the feel of a true milonga, the Orchestra would like to run the evening a little differently than a regular concert or CD release party. Chairs and tables will ring the perimeter of the hall to expose the fine wooden dance floor in front of the stage. Instead of playing one or two long sets, the Orchestra will play several tandas, which are 4 song sets of songs that are similar in feeling, tempo or mood. After each tanda, the band will play a 30 second cortina, or curtain, to signify that the current tanda is over. The dancers find new partners and it starts all over again. Recorded tandas by DJ Dave Rost will be interspersed with live ones throughout the evening. There will be a tango lesson for beginners at 7:30. The Orchestra will play between 8:30 and 11, followed by DJ'd dancing until last call at 12:45. (The irony is that in Buenos Aires, an orquesta tipica (tango orchestra) would not even start playing until 1AM.)

The Mandrágora Tango Orchestra is one of the few tango orchestras outside of Argentina and are based right here in the Twin Cities. Perhaps you have caught them at the Theatre de la Jeune Lune's production of Maria de Buenos Aires last spring, on Minnesota Public Radio, or on Sunday nights at the Loring Pasta Bar. They would like to invite you to the CD release party of their newest album, "Let's Have Dinner and Go Dancing with Mandrágora". They will be hosting a milonga, or tango dance party to celebrate on Saturday, November 17th. You need not be a dancer to enjoy the allure of the tango, but you may find yourself drawn to their sultry rhythms all the same.

The Mandrágora Tango Orchestra is led by accordionist Bob Barnes, who founded the group in 2001. Mandrágora Tango started playing regular Sunday night milongas as a quartet and started to attract a loyal following of tango dancers. In 2003, Bob added a string trio and piano to the quartet and created the Mandrágora Tango Orchestra, which plays 3 or 4 milongas a year. In 2002, an elderly Argentine gentleman by the name of Max Valentinuzzi introduced himself to the band. Max had been playing tango piano for over 60 years and wanted to play with Mandrágora while he was in town visiting his daughter and grandchildren. He has taught Mandrágora a lot about the history and spirit of tango, and he recorded some songs for the CD. Considered to be the band's tango godfather, Max will be hosting the Southern Hemisphere CD release party in Tucuman, Argentina on the same night.

The Mandrágora Tango Orchestra is Bob Barnes on accordion and bandoneon, Scott Matteo Davies on guitar, Dan Chouinard on piano, Christian Zamora and Laura Harada on violin, Nancy Svendals on viola, Carol Bjorlie on cello, and Leo Bjorlie on bass. You can download full versions of many of their recordings and read more about them on their website: http://www.mandragoratango.com/

This is how to dance the tango!
Feel the blood rise to your face with every beat,
While an arm winds like a snake around a waist that is about to break.
This is how to dance the tango!
- Elizardo Martinez Vilas, 1942

Posted by bbarnes at October 17, 2005 3:13 PM


Hello, I´m a Brazilian currently living in Lima Peru. I simply love tango and am very happy to know your site and your work. I downloaded some of the files you posted and they are plaing all the time in my mp3 player device. Continue doing your great job. Simply marvelous! I will put a linj to your blog in my own one. Very best wishes, Renato Guimaraes

Posted by: Renato Guimaraes at October 30, 2005 6:06 PM