Friday, March 12, 2021.
The Koubek Center at Miami Dade College (MDC) will celebrate Argentine musician, composer, and bandleader Astor Piazzolla’s 100th birthday with a tribute to his music and its enduring legacy at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 12 via Facebook.
100 Years of Piazzolla, The Soul of New Tango is a virtual event and will feature renditions of some of Piazzolla’s classics by a superb cast of musicians from around the world, and the trailer of the biographical film “The Years of the Shark.” This event is free and open to the public.
The late Piazzolla, the creator of New Tango, would be celebrating his 100th birthday on March 11, 2021. Bitterly opposed by tango traditionalists, Piazzolla was a master of the bandoneon, the challenging, melancholy sounding button squeezebox. He renovated and energized tango by incorporating elements from jazz, klezmer, and European classical music. At the time of his death on July 4, 1992, Piazzolla’s music had a worldwide following including renowned artist, such as cellists Mstislav Rostropovich and Yo-Yo Ma, the Kronos Quartet, pianist Emmanuel Ax, jazz guitarist Al DiMeola, and dance music diva Grace Jones.
“We couldn’t let the centenary of the birth of Astor Piazzolla, one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, pass without paying tribute to his extraordinary work,” said Melissa Messulam, Koubek Center Manager. “His New Tango has transcended borders.”
The program will include performances by the Quinteto Astor Piazzolla, directed by Julian Vat and founded by Laura Escalada Piazzolla, Astor’s widow, for the Fundación Astor Piazzolla; the bandoneon player and arranger David Alsinawith a string quartet of Fellows of the New World Symphony; and bassist, arranger, and producer Pablo Aslan‘s Mash-ish, an exploration of tango and Afro-Latin music featuring an ensemble based in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Seoul, and Vinalhaven, ME; and including four women bandoneon players.
100 Years of Piazzolla, The Soul of New Tango, will also include an appearance by Miami’s own Miguel Arrabal, a bandoneon player who performed in Broadway under Piazzolla’s direction; and a trailer of the film The Years of The Shark, which offers a glimpse into Piazzolla’s life, wth an introduction by director Daniel Rosenfeld.
“We have curated an exceptional program that celebrates this musical giant and supports the Koubek Center’s mission of building community through the arts,” Messulam said. “With Piazzolla’s music, we are connecting artists and communities from around the world, from Miami and Rio de Janeiro to Seoul.”
Photo credit: PUPETTO MASTROPASQUA