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January 20, 2006

Full Orchestra Gig on Jan 29

We are having another milonga with the full orchestra on Jan 29 at Rossi's Blue Star Room in dowontown Minneapolis. We will have Dan Chouinard playing Rossi's fabulous 9' Steinway grand piano as well as the whole string section: Christian Zamora and Ewa Bujak on violins, Nancy Svendals on viola, Carol Bjorlie on cello and Leo Bjorlie on bass. I will be playing Accordion and Bandoneon as well as spinning some tango CDs on the hi-fi untill late in the night!

Did I mention that Rossi's has a wooden floor? It does! Also, there is no drain in the middle of it and there is no kitchen the stage. (The Kitchen is behind a door on the other side of the room and cooks some fabulous chow) Furthermore, there is a parking garage in the same building as Rossi's: you can take an elevator from your car to the resturant. It should be a great gig all in all!!!

Rossi's is at 80 south 9th. street in downtown Minneapolis. It is in the basement of the Metro Building on the corner of 9th. and Marquette. I really don't know who's playing at the Pasta Bar that night, but it won't be Mandragora and it probably won't be tango.

I'm in the process of looking for a good venue with a wooden dance floor and execelent piano to host the full orchestra. I really like the space at Rossi's and think you will, too. The cover charge is either $12 or $15 (I don't know yet), but may be lower in the future if we can show them a good crowd who buys drinks and dinners.

Pointless trivia about our new musical arrangments after the jump...

For those that are interested, this gig will feature 14 new arrangments, many of which have been made by actual Argentines!

I have a Swedish-Argentine tango pen-pal in Malmö, Sweden named Juan-Jose Passo. He runs a tango band called Tangarte with his Dad on vocals. Their instrumentation is similar to ours, and Juanjo has sent me some xeroxes of old argentine arrangments such as "La cumparsita", "La ultim cita", "Pablo" and "Corrallera". He has given a few of my arrangements and compositions their Scandinavian premieres.

Our good friend (and fellow tango dancer) Silvia Horwitz got some xeroxes of Anibal Troilo's "orquesta tipica" arrangments durring one of her trips to BA. She also got me a book called "Bases para arregalos de tangos, milongas y valses" ("How to arrange tangos, milongas and valses") by Ismail Spitalnik, who played bando and arranged for Troilo, Pugliese, and his own band. This book happened to have arrangements for our exact orchestration, so I've transcribed one for the big orchestra ("Bien Milonga").

If you've ever Tangoed in Texas, you will know of Glover Johns Gill. He is an amazing accordionist, pianist and composer who plays for Milongas in Dallas, Austin and Houston. About 8 years ago I saw his band, the "Tosca Tango Orchestra" in Austin and I was blown away. Seeing his band nispired me to add strins and piano to Mandragora to create the "Big Orchestra". Anyway, I got the scores to 4 of his most danceable tangos ("La Luna", "Milonga para Tosca", "28/20" and "Lastima Grande") which we will spring on you on 1/29.

I got a set of danceable Piazzolla arrnagments from Editiones Universelles in Paris. These are charts of some tangos that Piazzolla wrote in Paris in the 1950s, before he created "Tango Nuevo". They were arranged for the small dance bands that were popular at the time (2 vlns, 2 bandos, piano, bass). We're having the viola and cello play the 2nd bando parts to fill things out.

Finally, we will be playing 10 or so of our old favorites.

We hope to see you Sunday!


Posted by bbarnes at January 20, 2006 1:32 PM


I heard you today on the Current and love your music. But I did want to let you know that the title of the song La Ultima Cita, is not spelled corrently, in Italian (if that's what language you are going for) It should be "L'Ultima Citta" (with an accent ` on the A). If you ever need help with Italian translations I am an Italian Graduate from the U of M and have lived over a year of my life in Italy. Other than that, your music is really great!

Posted by: Kate Newberry-Gillin at January 25, 2006 9:31 AM

"La ultima cita" means "The Last Date" or "The Last Meeting" in Spanish. -Bob

Posted by: Bob Barnes at February 3, 2006 1:06 PM