LaurenzMaffiaOn a night that was free of rehearsals and performances, Pedro Laurenz was chilling out in Café El Parque, where his friend, violinist Jose de Grandis was playing. Later in the evening Grandis showed Laurenz the verses he recently wrote, and Laurenz, quite impressed by the drama, unfolding in the lyrics of “Amurado”, immediately composed the first part of the music. The chorus was not so easy, but Laurenz knew precisely who was going to help him with it…

… A few years ago, in 1920, Pedro Blanco Acosta, after spending his youth in Montevideo, returned to Buenos Aires. His first musical instrument was violin, but, persuaded by his brothers, he started learning bandoneon, the instrument that was gaining huge popularity on both banks of Rio de Plata. Soon he was playing in now forgotten Luis Casanovas orquesta, together with yet-to-become known Edgardo Donato. Later on, he polished his skills alongside El Tigre del Bandoneon, Eduardo Arolas. However, upon return to Buenos Aires, his new idol became his namesake and fellow, Pedro Maffia. There was seemingly nothing in common between the impulsive, nervous Acosta who developed a flashy, picturesque style of playing, and calm, rather grim Maffia capable of extracting the most gentle and delicate sounds from almost motionless bellows of his bandoneon. Besides, in 1924 Acosta was little known, but Maffia was already a celebrity, playing in prestigious Cafe Colon with fashionable sexteto Julio De Caro.

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Tierra querida

11148406_1655416388004709_9101311547825437099_nWhen De Caro brothers, Julio and Francisco, formed their sexteto in 1924, and Julio proclamed “El tango también es música”, they very quickly rose to fame. Complex arrangements and harmonies, virtuoso violin of Julio, breathtaking bandoneon duo of Pedro Maffia and Pedro Laurenz (see “Tango stories: Amurado”), and firm hands of Francisco – both on the piano and on the management, just in a few months brought their sexteto into the rank of the most desired tango orquestas in Buenos Aires.

In April 1927 brothers were approached by Brazilian impresario Juan Carlos Pinto with an offer to play in Rio de Janeiro. Because of the contractual obligations in Buenos Aires, Julio “politely declined” the offer, by asking an incredible amount of 2000 pesos for a single night. To everyone’s surprise, the very next morning they received the confirmation and the tickets to Rio.

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