Sexteto Milonguero debuts in Los Angeles at SCTC!
Sexteto Milonguero is one of the most famous (and also most authentic) live tango bands alive today. They come directly from Buenos Aires, Argentina…and have performed all over the world (Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Canada). This February, it is our honor to invite them to their first official tango tour in the US!
What is the Sexteto Milonguero sound?
Their main desire is to reproduce the spirit of the Golden Age tango orchestras of the 1940’s, but with a personal sound of their own. The 1940’s was the dominant era of tango music that we hear in milongas today. This consists of D’Arienzo, Di Sarli, Troilo, Biagi, Fresedo, Calo, Donato, Rodriguez, De Angelis, D’Agostino, Pugliese, Demare, Laurenz, and more. Nearly all of the most acclaimed tango orchestras we hear today are from that era. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that this music is the most popular tango music because in that era, their #1 goal was to make dancers want to dance, nothing less and nothing more. The music was played live in milongas and intended for dancing, and structured in ways to help promote dance creativity.
After that 1940’s era, the musicians started to experiment and play for themselves, or push their musical craft by moving away from the traditional dance structure. You could say the music became less “danceable” and that it sounded very stagey, overly vocal, or so modern that it doesn’t feel like traditional tango music at all (like later Piazzolla pieces). Newer tango music was less predictable, with too much fluctuation between overly-extended notes or overly-sensitive staccato beats. And even if your dance skill was strong enough to catch these beat fluctuations, the newer tango music perhaps lacked the charisma and soul of the classic tango orchestras. We may never be able to put a finger on it.
Most live tango bands that you’ll experience today will be tango “cover bands” that do their renditions of the classics, either in the spirit of matching the original sound or in trying to reinvent the songs with their own style. Of the many of them, Sexteto Milonguero is among the most popular and well-known.
The first couple years I heard them, I actually thought they were an original band from 50 years ago, but they aren’t. If you’re like me, you probably didn’t realize you were listening to Sexteto Milonguero. They are so good in fact, that you almost forget who the original orchestra was. In the next section, I showcase them playing pieces from many different orchestras (D’Arienzo, Di Sarli, Fresedo, Canaro, and more).
Sexteto Milonguero music review
1. Classic tango sound
Check out this incredible performance by Sexteto Milonguero playing live for Daniel Nacucchio & Cristina Sosa (who will ALSO be at SCTC 2017). Isn’t this funny? They sound like an original band. Listen to the prance of the bandoneon trailed by the piano flourishes and crying violin. The phrases cry their way to the top before sailing down the emotional coaster supported by the background singer. There’s a tireless energy reminiscent of the classic turbulent rendition of “Pensalo Bien” by Juan D’Arienzo. All we need actually is worst sound quality to match that old vinyl feel.
2. Modern tango sound
Sexteto Milonguero has also got the modern tango sound down pat. Listening to this closely, I’m starting to wonder if many of the new tango bands are copying Sexteto Milonguero. I’m no musical expert but I’d say there’s this an extra space of breath in between each downbeat, that I often hear in live orchestras. The extra space gives the songs a more dramatic effect as danced here by an actual stage couple. And guess what, the couple is none other than Fernando Gracia & Sol Cerquides who will ALSO BE AT SCTC 2017.
3. Romantic Music for the ears
Sexteto Milonguero really sweeps your ears off their feet. There’s this romantic lushness on each phrase. Try just listening. It’s rich and creamy. And so pleasant to hear this music in modern day pristine-clarity audio quality.
I beg you to give these a listen as well:
It’s amazing stuff, right?!
4. Live milonga music
I didn’t realize how many of my favorite tango performances on Youtube were danced to Sexteto Milonguero. Seriously, these guys have mastered live milonga music. I didn’t realize that I had been listening to Sexteto Milonguero before and didn’t realize they were still alive. (Silly me, haha.)
Check out their other milonga songs (also danced by popular couples):
- Sebastian Achaval & Roxana Suarez – “La Mulateada” by SM
- Los Totis – “La Milonga de Buenos Aires” by SM
Sexteto Milonguero starts their US tour right here in LA!
It has been quite the challenge to have Sexteto Milonguero come to LA but the dream has been made possible. Sexteto Milonguero will be here at SCTC 2017 next month and we hope you will be there to see them.
The ONLINE DISCOUNT ends Jan 31.