Mandrágora Tango: Nostalgic tango that stirs the soul and moves the feet

Mandrágora Tango was a Minneapolis based tango band headed by bandoneonist Bob Barnes and guitarist Scott Mateo Davies. The band stopped playing some time around 2013, but we're leaving this website up as a resource and for the memories. Please look around!

Mateo continues to play Mandragora Tango music every Sunday evening at the Loring Pasta Bar with his new group, "Rogue Tango". Bob has started a new Tango group dedicated to playing traditional golden age tango for dancing: Hiawatha Tango You can hear them several times a year around Minneapolis

Photo: Mike Gitler


Latest News and Anouncements

Posted on Dec 27, 2018 by Bob Barnes

Mandragora Tango is no longer a thing

We had a great run, but several years ago it got too difficult and I had to step away for a while. Mateo continues to play Mandragora Tango music every Sunday evening at the Loring Pasta Bar with his new group, "Rogue Tango". Bob has started a new Tango group dedicated to playing traditional golden age tango for dancing: Hiawatha Tango

Chicago & Madison Mini-Tour for Barrio Longfellow

Posted on April 3, 2013 by Bob Barnes

We are taking it on the road again for the first time in over a year, but what a year it has been! We recorded and released "Barrio Longfellow" and now we're going to share it in Chicago and Madison. This project is our collaboration with Hip-hop producer "Bionik". The results are pretty amazing and very danceable! For this tour we will be playing 90% traditional tango music (DiSarli, Canaro, Troilo) but we'll spice things up with a few Nuevo/Alt/Electro-Tangos from our new album. CDs, download cards, and shoe bags will be available for purchase. This tour features Bob Barnes on bandoneon,Matt Miller on bass. Heather Yonker of Madison will join us on piano for a few tunes. Madison: Saturday April 27, 7-11PM Hosted by Joe Yang at the Cardinal Bar, 418 E. Wilson (map)

The Friday 4/26 milonga at Art Tango in Chicago was canceled by the venue. We apologize for the confusion.

PS: We've just joined where you can hear a few tracks off of the new album

Tango Inaugural Ball

Posted on January 1, 2013 by Bob Barnes

Sorry! Due to unforseen circumstances, we had to cancel the Inaugural Ball we had planned. Perhaps again in 2017?

Barrio Longfellow CD Release Party, Nov 9 at 4 Season's Dance Studio in Minneapolis

Posted on November 9, 2012 by Bob Barnes

Mandrágora Tango will be throwing a big CD release party for "Barrio Longfellow" on November 9 at the Four Seasons Dance Studio in Minneapolis. This is our first CD entirely of alternative and electronic tango. Bob and Mateo will perform the tracks on bandoneon and guitar while Producer Stefon 'BIONIK' Taylor provides the grooves. DJ Paul Lohman will spin traditional tango favorites, leaning towards more progressive tracks. There will be many surprises and special guests! Doors open at 9PM with the performance at 11. Admission is $20 and will include a free, signed CD! ($15 without the CD) The door to the Four Seasons is through the alley next to Cafe Lurcat (directions)

Our New Album "Barrio Longfellow" is Almost Ready!

Posted on August 17, 2012 by Bob Barnes

Mandragora Tango and Hip-hop Producer BIONIK have been collaborating for the past year to put together a new album of unbridled awesomeness. The title comes from the fact that all of us live within 10 blocks of each other in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis . The album is a mix of acoustic tango with BIONIK's unique beats, creating a danceable hybrid. Here are 3 sample tracks to create some buzz:

(Download a ZIP file of these 3 songs)

Mandragora Tango would like to thank executive producers Jennifer Kozar and Janusz Godyn, without whom this project would not have been possible!

  • Fun fact #1: BIONIK is Mateo's son-in-law.
  • Fun fact #2: Robert "Fish" Jones was a Mpls fishmonger with a flair for marketing. He created as Zoo called Longfellow Gardens where Hiawatha Falls Park now stands. The album art is a picture of Jones and his favorite anteater.
  • Fun fact #3: Jones convinced the city to name our neighborhood after the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Longfellow never visited our hood.

10 Years of Live Tango at the Loring Pasta Bar

Posted on April 29, 2012 by Bob Barnes

It's hard to believe there was ever a time without live tango music at the Loring Pasta Bar! It's been 10 years since those dark, dark days! On April 29th, we will celebrate 10 years of live tango music. and at least 500 performances by Mandragora.

April 29th. will also be the debut of Mandragora's new sextet formation: 2 violins, piano, bass, guitar and bandoneon! 'Sexteto Tipico Mandragora' will be dedicated to playing arrangements and transcriptions of golden age tangos. The sextet will play several times a year for special events, concerts and festivals. Come out and dance to the Mandragora beat you know and love fortified with strings and piano!

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