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Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents the Music of Astor Piazzolla, with Paquito D’Rivera, Host and Director, at: Frederick P. Rose Hall
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Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents the Music of Astor Piazzolla, with Paquito D’Rivera, Host and Director, at: Frederick P. Rose Hall

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Jazz at Lincoln Center

The Music of Astor Piazzolla
(Astor Piazzolla Bio)

Paquito D’Rivera, Music Director, Alto Sax, Clarinet
Pablo Aslan, Music Advisor, Bass

Special Guests:
Pablo Ziegler, Piano
Daniel “Pipi” Piazzolla, Drums

Frederick P. Rose Hall
Rose Theater
Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center

Scott Robinson, Baritone Sax
Diego Urcola, Trumpet, Trombone
Claudio Ragazzi, Guitar
Octavio Brunetti, Piano
Antonio Madruga, Piano
Leonardo Granados, Percussion, Vocals
Dave Samuels, Vibraphone, Marimba
Daniel Binelli, Bandoneón
Nicholas Danielson, Violin

Zooey T. Jones, Press

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 11, 2011

The crème de la crème of tango musicians gathered at Rose Hall tonight, including the one and only Paquito D’Rivera, who directed this show and played sax and clarinet, Pablo Aslan, a tango bass virtuoso, Pablo Ziegler, the renowned tango pianist, who toured with Astor Piazzolla’s ensemble, Daniel “Pipi” Piazzolla, Astor’s grandson, on drums, and no fewer than ten professional jazz and tango musicians, each of whom could lead a concert here himself. Paquito entertained the crowd and relaxed the ever shifting orchestra with his iconic humor, as the first wave of guests took the stage. Pablo Aslan and Daniel Piazzolla stayed onstage throughout both sets.

During the first set, Daniel Binelli, who has been interviewed for this magazine, brought out his eloquent bandoneón, and two of the pieces he had arranged and accompanied were Piazzolla’s “Años de Soledad” and “Allegro Tangabile”. Each piece was more exquisite than the next, as this first set unfolded. Binelli had been a member of Piazzolla’s New Tango Sextet. Diego Urcola, on trumpet and trombone, added sharpness and brassy bravura to the sumptuous, danceable refrains. Piazzolla’s “Show Off”, “Counterpoint”, “Something Strange”, and “Oscar Peterson” each featured star musicians in solo riffs, with Octavio Brunetti and Antonio Madruga alternating on piano in enchanting, contagious melodies. Madruga, from Miami, is an up and coming name in keyboard tango jazz, while Brunetti is well known in New York tango concert circles.

The Johnny Mercer and David Raskin ballad, “Laura”, was something different and something special, as it transported us to another era, but still in the Buenos Aires motif. Claudio Ragazzi was nicely featured on guitar in this soulful song. Another high point was Leonardo Granados’ vocal showcase, as he left his Latin percussion for a front stage performance of “Balada para un Locco”, donning his Argentinean fedora. He sang with drama and passion, just as he played his congas.

One of my favorite Piazzolla ballads is “Oblivion”, and Oriente Lopez’ arrangement was performed tonight, in a bit more upbeat mood than I’ve heard it before. Scott Robinson’s baritone sax was busy in this set, as he and Paquito, on alto sax and clarinet, alternated the tango jazz concept, invented by Piazzolla, when he lived in New York. This year would have marked Piazzolla’s 90th birthday, so this concert was a celebratory tribute. Every time Paquito shared anecdotes, as did Pablo Aslan, a virtuoso on the tango genre, the audience clapped. Many in the crowd seemed familiar with the music and artists, as vocal accolades were frequently heard.

In the second set, Pablo Ziegler, also interviewed for this magazine, took the keyboard, and the music became even more textured, punctuated, driven. Ziegler is a Piazzolla maestro, immersed in the repertoire. He has composed his own jazz tango repertoire, with one of his compositions opening this set, “Milonga del Adios”. It was mesmerizing and soulful, with classical and jazz fused tango tones. Hector del Curto, one of New York’s finest bandoneonists, was featured in the second set, as well as Dave Samuels, on vibraphone. Each drew enormous applause, as Del Curto draws out his bandoneón in refined resonance, and Samuels took the themes with enchanting clarity. Piazzolla’s “Adios Nonino”, “Introduccion al Angel”, “Fuga y Misterio”, “Michelangelo 70”, and the rambunctious, rich “Libertango”, the finale, finished out the program.

The entire program was like being in an elegant Buenos Aires Club, with the finest jazz tangos that could be created, right here at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Nicholas Danielson, another artist interviewed for this magazine, was on violin, adding searing, rippling string flourishes in star appearances tonight. The other string musicians, Claudio Ragazzi and Pablo Aslan, took solo turns, as well, with Ragazzi furnishing scintillating musicality and Aslan adding deep, rich timbre. Toward the end of the concert, after the first applause, the three pianists shared the bench in improvisational style, joining both bandoneonists and the full orchestra. This was quite a show. Kudos to Astor Piazzolla, and kudos to all on tonight’s stage.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents
The Music of Astor Piazzolla
Courtesy of Ayano Hisa for Jazz at Lincoln Center

Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents
The Music of Astor Piazzolla
Courtesy of Ayano Hisa for Jazz at Lincoln Center

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at