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July 17, 2007

Bob's Trip to Study Bandoneon in Buenos Aires

From July 2-13, 2007, Mandrágora Tango bandleader Bob Barnes went to Buenos Aires to study bandoneon (tango accordion) in the Conservatorio Galván, which is part of the Academia Nationál de Tango. I studied with Maestro Osvaldo "Marinero" Montes and one of his students, Adolfo Trepiana. This was part of a 2 week seminar for foreign musicians that included lectures on tango history from Anibal Arias, performance practice from Oscar De Elia, music theory from Julián Graciano and a lecture on the music of Astor Piazzolla delivered by his friend and collaborator Horatio Ferrer

I took a boatload of pictures and posted them in thematic galleries with extended captions. Click on a picture to go to it's gallery

Street ScenesArchitectureTango Scenes
Food and DrinkPublic TransitEl Viejo Gato (the old cat)
A detailed travelogue follows after the jump.

I flew out of Minneapolis on June 29th. and Delta screwed me immeadiately. The plane sat in Minneapolis for 4 hours and I missed my flight to BsAS and had to waste a day in Atlanta. I arrived 24 hours late and went directly to the house of my good friend and former Mandragora bandmate Mark Herr. He lives in Buenos Aires and teaches English. He and his fiance have a house in the San Christóbal neightborhood, about 30 blocks from the Academy.

The class at the academy consisted of about 20 students, mostly Americans, and mostly accademics. Classes met every day from 2 to 9 PM. Most of the classes were in English or Spanglish, some with interpeters, soem not. It really streatched the limits of my conversational Spanish. I can read much better than I can speak or understand. Every evening, a group of us would go out to a fabulous (and inexpensive) meal followed by a trip to a milonga with live music. Over the the 2 weeks I was there, I heard Unitango, Orquesta Tipica Fernandez Fierro, Orquesta Tipica Fervor de Buneos Aires, Agua Pesada, Orquesta Nacional de Música Argentina Juan de Dios Filiberto, Orquesta de las Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Baigon, Sergio Crotti, Orquesta Tipica Candombe, and Vale Tango among others.

We had no classes over the weekend, and Monday July 9th. was a national holiday. I took and 15 hour bus ride to Tucuman to vsit my good friend Max Valentinuzzi III and meet his 18 month old grandson, Max Valentinuzzi IV. To make a long story short, one of Max's daughters lives in Minneapolis and when he comes to visit, he plays tango piano with us. He is playing piano on some tracks on Le'ts Have Dinner and Go Dancing with Mandrágora Tango. At any rate, since I was going halfway arround the world to Buenos Aries, I might as well pay him and his wife a social call. I was only in town for about 30 hours. Max prepared a fantastic Asado (bar-b-que) and we played lots of tangos together.

Posted by bbarnes at July 17, 2007 1:06 PM