Members will be aware that our talented and charming rehearsal pianist, Amy Putt, is a member of the Sydney-based modern tango quintet, that goes by the name of Tángalo. The quintet has no Hispanic members but aims for and achieves an authentic Argentine sound. They visited Argentina in 2014, as recipients of an Australia Council award, which gave them a great opportunity to immerse themselves directly in the culture of Buenos Aires and its tango culture.

Amy has promoted interest in Tángalo in the choir by selling its CD, which has the splendid title ‘Good enough for Gringos’ and can be recommended to any chorister silly enough not to have bought it yet. The ensemble gave a concert on 25 May for the Roseville Music Club, of which Andrew Mackenzie (tenor) is the treasurer, and a number of gringos from Grads joined the audience, which included quite a few members of other choirs, with which Amy works. The venue was St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, a spacious, modern building with a good acoustic.

The five musicians demonstrated a number of skills–bandoneon, guitar, violin, double bass, flute, piano, vocals and arranging. The music presented was expressive and varied and included milongas, folk song and/ waltzes, as well as tangos. A couple of these were by the very popular tango composer (and darling of ABC Classic FM presenters) Astor Piazzola, one of whose pieces set words by Argentina’s great writer, Jorge Luis Borges.

Amy’s piano playing was technically assured and stylish and she obviously makes a central contribution to Tángalo’s sound and character. The ensemble’s co-founders, Emily-Rose Sarkova and Owen Salomé, are responsible for the bandoneon playing and arrangements, with Owen also doubling on flute and guitar, while Susie Bishop plays the violin and shares the vocals with Emily-Rose, and Johan Delin plays the double bass, both pizzicato and bowed.

In short, Tángalo are a terrific band. Grads members who have not yet acquired a copy of their CD, are urged to do so without further ado. It is to be hoped that the Choir will provide larger numbers of gringos in the future to swell Tángalo’s audiences.

Viva Tángalo!

John Bowan



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