Rodolfo was born in Mendoza, Argentina and studied bandoneón with Jorge Puebla and Alberto Hilario Iribarne, and piano with Monica Rizzo and Roberto Urbay at the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza. While still a teenager, Rodolfo joined the Orquesta Tipica Mancifesta and later, played with Tango & Punto, an ensemble from Mendoza. With the support of the Astor Piazzolla Foundation, in 2002, he was named the musical director of Piazzolla’s “operita”, Maria de Buenos Aires, performed in Mendoza. In 2004, he joined the Bandó quintet, made up of musicians from Mendoza. A year later they came to the U.S. where their performances in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. were met with enthusiastic acclaim. In December 2013, the Embassy of Argentina invited Rodolfo to perform at the Organization of American States for a celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Recovery of Democracy in the Republic of Argentina, where he played with PASO and tango singer Maria Volonte. With PASO, he has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Theater, and the George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium. He currently resides in New York City, where he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and with his quartet at many other tango events in the Big Apple.
Andres Bravo is a talented dancer, instructor and choreographer who began dancing Argentine tango at 11 years old. He has studied with such masters as Miguel Angel Zotto, Martin Ojeda, Roberto Herrera, Julio Balmaceda and Gabriel Misse. He launched his career in 1999 when he toured throughout Colombia with the Colombo Argentina Tango Festival. He then performed the next two years with the Alexander Giraldo tango company in Pereira, Colombia. In 2002, Andres performed for 6 months with the Argentine Tango Show in the United Arab Emirates. He has participated in tango dance competitions throughout the world, and in 2006 he won the National Stage Tango competition for Tangovia, in Manizales, Colombia and again in 2009 in Bogota. He represented Colombia in the 8th World Tango Summit in Bariloche, Argentina in 2009. Andres now performs with the show "Three to Tango" with Jorge Nel and Milena Buitrago which has toured several US cities. He is also a dance instructor and choreographer ("Por el amor al tango", directed by Erskine Maytorena, Albuquerque, New Mexico).
Carolina Jaurena (Dancer) Influenced by her parents, bandoneón player Raul Jaurena, and tango singer, Marga Mitchell, Carolina grew up with a love of the tango. She studied ballet, salsa, and flamenco but decided to focus on Argentine Tango, where she has had the opportunity to work alongside some of the most recognized names in the tango world, such as Jorge Torres, Fabian Peralta, Cesar Coelho, and Hugo Patyn. Carolina's dance credits include such performances as "Tango and Tango" at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, "Tango Fantastico" at the Bellearyre Music Festival, “Tangos for la Milonga” with Romulo Larrea on Broadway at Town Hall and "100 years of Tango- from Villoldo to Piazzolla" at the prestigious Solis Theatre in Montevideo, Uruguay. In 1999, she starred as the primary dancer in the feature film Random Hearts directed by Sidney Pollack, and starring Harrison Ford. She has danced for symphony orchestra performances, including in 2005, with the Sudwestfalen Philarmonic at the Symphonic Tango Night show in Hilchenbach-Lutzel, Germany, with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra for several DC Annual Tango Festival performances, with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Westfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared on television: on the Fox 5 "Good Day New York" show with Penny Crone, with "Today in New York" on NBC, and in 2006 on Univision's popular Saturday night show, "Sabado Gigante". Carolina is in great demand at tango festivals not only as a performer but also as an instructor and she has participated in the Einhalden Festival in Germany, the Colorado Dance Festival, the Boston Tango Festival, the Nashville Tango Festival and the Stanford University Tango Festival. She performs on a regular basis with the Teatro Si in New Jersey, with Leonardo Suarez Paz's Cuartetango in New York, and with Thalia Spanish Theatre in Queens, New York.
Jhon Blandón and Adelaida Mejia are highly gifted young dancers representing the unique dance style of Medellín, Colombia, a city rich with tango history. Jhon is a leader in the Colombian national tango community: he founded El Candombe, an academy of tango, in Medellín in 1999. Jhon has won numerous Colombian national tango competitions (1998, 1999, 2007 and 2008), and regularly serves as lead choreographer and principal dancer in performances throughout Argentina, Spain, the Middle East and the United States.
Adelaida Mejia is an accomplished dancer, teacher and actress in Medellin, where she specializes in tango and creative dance. She has received recognition in performance competitions in Colombia, France and Italy, and was recognized with the Young Talent Award in Bogota, Colombia in 2009. She has two degrees from the University of Antioquia, Medellin, in Communications and Contemporary Dance.
From 2003 through 2008, Jhon and Adelaida collaborated on Aire de Tango, a creative tango work which won First Prize for Choreography by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia. Jhon and Adelaida were the choreographers and principal dancers, and the work has been performed in a number of countries: Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro in Bogotá; Festival de Danza Contemporánea de Isla Margarita y Caracas; Festival Internacional de Tango of Granada, Spain; and the World Festival of Tango, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Other collaborative works include Contra Viento y Marea which won Best Prize for Creative Work, Medellin City in 2009, and Un Tango Por Un Poema Homenaje a Evaristo Carriego, Winner of IX Convocation of Creative Arts in Popular and Urban Dances by the City of Medellín, 2012
Adriana Salgado and Orlando Reyes, natives of Colombia, have been professional dancers and teachers of Argentine tango for almost twenty years. With backgrounds in classical ballet, they both studied tango in Buenos Aires with some of the best known tango dance masters. They have performed in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Aruba, Argentina, and Colombia. In the United States, they performed for Dartmouth College's Argentine Tango Society, in Boston, Portland, Miami, and Ohio. Based in New York City, they performed in 2007 for the New York Tango Festival, in Tango Intimo and Tango Connection in 2008, in Tango Noir and Tango por Ellos in 2009 (the latter receiving a nomination for best choreography in the Latin ACE Award). More recent performances include Malbec Tango House in Manhattan, Tango Salon Worldwide Tango Championship in Buenos Aires, and Boulder, Colorado Tango Festival. In addition, Adriana and Orlando have taught tango on Holland America, Norwegian and Royal Princess Cruise Lines and performed with Dancing at Sea a specialty cruise company for dance enthusiasts. They are currently teaching and coaching privately at Stepping Out Studios and Adelante Studios in Manhattan and performing in area milongas. Their performances are noted for their smooth, romantic, elegant style with a focus on the subtleties of the embrace and connection.
Mezzo-Soprano Anamer Castrello is a native of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. She starred in Antologia de la Zarzuela with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra in March 2016. In May 2015, she made her debut at Carnegie Hall performing Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto Quartet. She also performed the roles of Lily and Strawberry Woman in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, with Dicapo Opera on tour to Mexico City at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. The summer season roles of Mamma Lucia in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet as Gertrude with Maryland Lyric Opera, won her critical acclaim. She performed in 2015 with Bel Cantanti Opera as the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. Concert performances included soloist for Luis Bacalov’s Misa Tango with the Choral Arts Society of Washington and the Pan American Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and Lawrence Ries's Sea Surface Full of Clouds (World Premiere) with The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra. Praised by the Washington Post as having "a powerful and passionate voice..." Anamer stands out as one of the most versatile artists in the DC, area. She holds a Doctoral degree in Vocal Performance from Catholic University of America. She was an award-winner at the Gulf Coast Regional Auditions for the Metropolitan Opera, winner of the Catholic University Concerto/Aria Competition, winner of the "Best Latino Female Vocalist" at the Washington Area Music Awards, and winner of the "Operatic Singing Artist of the Year Award" from the Institute of Puerto Rico in New York. Ms. Castrello has appeared with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Orchestra, the Capital City Symphony, Opera Camerata of Washington, Shakespeare Theatre, Opera Americana, Washington National Opera, Diaspora Opera of Washington, GALA Hispanic Theater, Zarzuela Di Si, Washington Concert Opera, Lyric Opera of Baltimore, and the In Series. Currently Anamer is a Teaching Artist with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Lyric Opera of Baltimore in their Education and Community Programs.
Sofía Rei’s music is grounded in traditional South American rhythms such as chacarera, zamba and vidala from Argentina, Afro-Peruvian festejo and landó, Afro-Uruguayan candombe, Colombian cumbia and bullerengue which merge jazz harmonies, electronic sounds, and rich improvisations.
Building on the success of her Independent Music Award-winning second release Sube Azul, Sofia recorded the spellbinding De Tierra Y Oro. She describes the album as a series of “philosophical wanderings” —songs that draw on a wide range of South American folklore and modern sounds. Singing in Spanish, Sofia tells stories that reflect her diverse experiences: a cock fight in Cartagena, a nightmare in Buenos Aires, a love letter in New York, a haunted man in the Andes.
Sofia has recorded, performed, and collaborated with renowned musicians such as Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, John Zorn, Folklore Urbano, Frank London, Guillermo Klein, Celso Duarte, Lionel Loueke, Geoffrey Keezer, Pavel Urkiza, Russ Ferrante (Yellow Jackets), Bob Moses, Steve Lacy, Aquiles Baez, and others. She toured Europe with the Grammy award winning Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and premiered with the group Cerulean Skies, a piece commissioned by the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna. In May of 2008, she was featured with vocal giant Bobby McFerrin in Instant Opera at Carnegie Hall. The piece was a fully improvised opera based on the story of the Tower of Babel.
Originally from Cordoba Argentina, Pedro Giraudo moved to New York City in 1996. Since then he has become an in-demand bass player and arranger working on a variety of musical projects. He has performed professionally with Pablo Ziegler, Kenny Garret, Marco Granados, William Cepeda, Chris Washburn, and Eternal Tango, and has recorded with Fernando Oteros X-Tango, Marta Topferova, Lucia Pulido, Mo'Guajiro and Jess Jurkovic. Pedro has participated in various jazz and music festivals throughout the United States, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and Asia and performed in venues such as the Blue Note (Japan), Birdland (Vienna), the Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Blue Note , Iridium, Jazz Standard, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall (NYC).
Described by London critics as “sensational,” “sweet voiced and ebullient”, Elisa Cordova, a native of Chile, is making her mark both in the U.S. and internationally. Ms. Cordova received her operatic training from the Eastman School of Music, Binghamton University and Tri-Cities Opera. She won the Tri-Cities Opera Guild Scholarship, and was a competition winner of the Lotte Lenya Vocal Competition. In 2013, she was a semi-finalist in the NTD Television International Vocal Competition and a recipient of the Clark Fellowship. Her operatic leading roles include Norina in Don Pasquale, Musetta in La Boheme, Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Monica in The Medium, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Adele in Die Fledermaus. She has sung two Zarzuelas: El Barberillo de Lavapies and La Verbena de la Paloma with Tri-Cities Opera, The Aspen Music Festival, Tulsa Opera, Opera Carolina, the In Series (Washington, DC), the Bronx Opera and the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Her musical theatre roles include Winnie in Annie get your gun, Antonia in Man of la Mancha, and Connie in A Chorus Line and Esther in Meet me in St. Louis. In 2006, she performed in the Off-Broadway play-opera The Music Teacher written by Allen and Wallace Shawn, solidifying her niche as a cross-over artist. (CD available through Bridge Records). Ms. Cordova went on to make her London West End debut to critical acclaim, performing the role of Maria in the European tour of West Side Story, including venues in Germany and Athens, Greece. In the recital arena, Ms. Cordova specializes in Spanish language repertoire. She has made appearances alongside composer Stephen Reich, the Frutillar Festival in Chile, as a guest artist with the OSCA Philharmonic in Paraguay, as well as concert appearances throughout Greece, the U. K., Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Italy. In 2013, Ms. Cordova debuted with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra in DC's first Latin American Song Festival with a successful concert of boleros. She is delighted to perform under the baton of Maestro Buslje once again.
Chilean tenor Mauricio Miranda is in his second year of Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. In 2012 Mr. Miranda appeared with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra as Eros in the American premiere of a newly-completed version of Debussy's Diane au bois. Other local credits include tenor soloist in Mozart's Requiem at Washington National Cathedral and performances at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater and Georgetown University. With Opera Lima, Peru, Mr. Miranda has appeared as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Arlecchino in I Pagliacci, and most recently as Pong in Turandot and with the Teatro Municipal de Santiago he created the role of Recruit 3 in the world premiere of Viento Blanco, by the Chilean composer Sebastián Errázuriz. He has also appeared with theaters in Spain, including Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao, Gran Teatro in Córdoba, and Centro Cultural Moncloa in Madrid, where he has sung Il Messagero in Aida and Priest/Armed Man in Die Zauberflöte. Mr. Miranda was the featured vocalist for the Pan American Symphony Orchestra’s Canciones de mi gente concert on October 25, 2013 at the Gala Hispanic Theatre in Washington, DC.
Dani Cortaza has three decades of artistic life to his credit. This talented musician specializes in Brazilian, Latin jazz and South American folkloric music, in both nylon and electric jazz guitar. In addition, he also performs, composes, and arranges Latin American folk music. He has appeared in many prestigious concert venues around the world, namely in Japan, Europe, South America, and the United States. In Washington, he has appeared in concert with flautist Nestor Torres and jazz pianist Dick Morgan, and with his own band at Blues Alley, the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe, Silver Spring Jazz Festival and Gala Theater.
After two decades of highly acclaimed worldwide performances with a variety of musicians and bands, a special Kennedy Center concert brought this Argentine native to Washington DC in 2002, where he now resides. Dani is the founder and director of two dynamic music groups specializing in Latin jazz and Brazilian music. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council’s Artistic Excellence Award. In the same year, his CD Expressions received a WAMMIE nomination for Best Jazz Album. One of his present projects includes creating new compositions and arrangements of South American folk music combined with jazz elements. Based on this work, in August, 2012, he received a grant from FONDEC (Paraguayan National Endowment for the Arts) to produce his CD Together/Oñondivé, Cortaza, which includes his own compositions and arrangements of Paraguayan and South American folk music combined with elements of jazz. Currently, Cortaza is Artistic and Executive Director of the DC LATIN JAZZ FESTIVAL Project, which takes place annually in Washington DC, and features some of the greatest local and international Latin Jazz artists.
Cavallaro started studying music formally when he was 15 years old and two years later after an intensive audition, he was chosen by Maestro Lysy to study violin at the Music Center Lysy in Carilo, Buenos Aires. A few years later, Cavallaro decided to immerse himself in popular music, including tango. He joined the Tango y Punto tango orchestra and performed in major concert halls in Mendoza, Argentina and Santiago, Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, Chile. In 2000, Cavallaro joined the youth sextet, Fusion Mendoza, an ensemble that played only Astor Piazzolla’s music. At the same time he performed regularly with the Municipal Orchestra of Mendoza. The following year, Cavallaro formed his own string quartet, Rabel, which performed in Mendoza, Buenos Aires, and Rioja, Argentina, and participated in the Festival of International Music in Buenos Aires.
Cavallaro’s dedication to the music of Astor Piazzolla paid off when in 2003 he was chosen as the first violin in the show Maria de Buenos Aires, a musical composed by Piazzolla. This 2003 performance at the Teatro Independencia in Buenos Aires was sponsored by the Astor Piazzolla Foundation and hosted by Piazzolla’s wife, Laura Escalada de Piazzolla. By the next year, Cavallaro was directing, arranging, and performing with his newly-formed quintet, Bando, an ensemble dedicated to interpreting the music of Piazzolla. Bando twice toured to the US, performing in New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC, the latter with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra at the Lisner Auditorium and the Embassy of Argentina. Only two years after forming Bando¸ Cavallaro decided to disband the group so that he could dedicate his time to composing music. Within only a few months, he again formed a new group, this time a trio, consisting of talented cellist, Juan Ignacio Emme and pianist, Marcelo Ayub. Shortly thereafter, Juan Pablo Jofre joined them as the bandoneon player and in late 2007 Pablo Cafici, as pianist, replacing Ayub (who joined the Teatro Colon Opera). This new quartet not only performs works of Astor Piazzolla but also original pieces composed by Bruno. The Bruno Cavallaro Quartet recorded an album, City Madness (Ciudadana Locura), featuring works composed and arranged by Cavallaro.
Alejandra Leni is from Rosario, Argentina, where she began her music studies at age 4. She studied piano and music education at the Chopin Conservatory and the Mozart Conservatory in Rosario. In 1996, she began intensive voice training with renowned Argentine lyric singer, Graciela Mozzoni. Her professional singing career got its start when Alejandra started singing in TV and radio commercials in Argentina. She is the female vocalist on the recording of the official anthem for the Newell’s Old Boys (Argentina) soccer club. She moved to New York City ten years ago and has since sung at many Hispanic cultural events in the New York City area. In her early years in New York, she was the female soloist for the Buenos Aires Tango Trio and the Los Chantas tango ensemble and she also sang at milongas throughout the city. Since then, she has been the guest singer with the Octavio Brunetti Tango Quartet, Los Chantas and Importango. She performed with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra for the first time at the Embassy of Argentina for PASO’s Latin American Song Festival in September 2013.
Juan Ignacio started studying the cello in Mendoza, Argentina, in 1995 with Nestor Long, first cellist with the Symphony Orchestra of the National University of Cuyo. By 2003, he was studying in Buenos Aires under Juarez Johnson and in 2004, with Enrique Maltz, the latter a cellist from the Philharmonic Orchestra of Israel. In 2006, Juan had the special opportunity to study at the International Ithaca Violoncello Institute under the tutelage of Professors Basel Sarweh and Einar Jeff Holm. He graduated from the Beethoven Conservatory in Buenos Aires with a degree in Violoncello.
Though only 25 years old, Juan Ignacio has studied under and played with alongside some of the world’s most renowned musicians, including Jose Condar, Carlos Prieto, Christopher Wilkins, Alvaro Gonzalez, Christoph Eschembach, Cristobal Halfter, and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Benjamín Zander, Pablo Zinger, Néstor Marconi, Martha Argerich, Atilio Stampone, Yo-Yo Ma, Paquito d’Rivera, Bebo Valdez, Plácido Domingo, among others. His talent led to scholarships from the Schleswig-Holstein Foundation in Germany, from the Academy Orchestra (founded by Leonard Bernstein), from the Antorchas Foundation in Buenos Aires, from Harvard University, and from the Raitmman and Tuber Collection. In 2004, he received a prestigious scholarship from the Youth Orchestra of the Americas Foundation to perform for the next two years with this well-known group across the United States, in Mexico, and in Venezuela. With the Youth Orchestra, Juan Ignacio performed at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theatre, and at the George Washington Lisner’s Auditorium, receiving the highest praise from the orchestra’s program director (“we were honored by his [Juan Ignacio] participation, not only for his exceptional musical talent but also for his capacity for leadership”).
A musician in great demand, Juan Ignacio keeps a busy performance schedule, having played as soloist in many orchestras across the globe. He has performed at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, in Costa Rica, in Panama, in Ecuador, in Lima, Peru, in Belo Horizonte and Sao Paolo, Brazil, Montevideo, Uruguay, Rosario and Mendoza, Argentina, Caracas, Venezuela, Israel, and Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He is currently the principal cellist for the Orquesta Sinfonica de Euskadi in Spain
Violinist Machiko Ozawa, the former concertmaster of the Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa de Las Artes, gave her debut recital at the Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in February 2002 as a winner of the Artists International Competition. As a soloist, she has performed with C.W.Post Chamber Orchestra, Henry Mancini Festival Orchestra, North Shore Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa de Las Artes in Mexico. She commissioned and premiered her own original concerto, Syrenes for violin, percussion and orchestra, with the North Shore Symphony Orchestra in 2004. She was a finalist at the New York International Tango Competition in 2004 when a member of M2duo. She received an artistic grant sponsored by the Yamaha Foundation and in 2007, she released her first album, Vertical Voyage in JP. Although trained classically, Machiko now extends her musical range to a variety of styles including jazz, tango, improvisation, world music, and dancing. In 2009, she was a member of the main cast in Amor Latino at Thalia Theatre in Brooklyn, where she performed as a tap dancing violinist. A recent devotee of tango, she has performed with Pablo Ziegler, Hector Del Curto, Fernando Otero, Octavio Brunetti, Polly Ferman and Pedro Giraudo at many of New York City's popular venues, such as the Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Winter Garden at Financial Center, and Joe's Pub.
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Jaurena studied bandoneón with his father when he was very young, performing with a children’s tango orchestra at the age of eight. When he was only 15 years old, he became a member of the popular Donato Raciatti Orchestra of Uruguay. He graduated with honors from the National Conservatory of Uruguay, where he composed his own work for bandoneón for the Symphony of Montevideo. Jaurena has accompanied some of tango’s most prominent singers, notably Roberto Goyeneche, Edmundo Rivero, Agustin Irusta, among others.
He spent many years performing throughout Latin America, specifically in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, and Mexico. In Brazil, he recorded for RCA Victor, in Mexico he performed for Televisa, and in Brazil and France he recorded music for films. In Venezuela, he performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and presented his own work, Motivos de Tango, with the National Philharmonic of Venezuela. Living in the United States since 1988, Jaurena has led his own group in performances at the Lincoln Center, American Music Theater Festival, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC. He has performed with Astor Piazzolla’s Sextet at the Montreal Jazz Festival and on his own with the Faculty of Music at the University of Montreal. Jaurena was a regular at the famed Stanford University Tango Workshop, a popular event for tango dancers throughout the United States. In 1995, Mr. Jaurena released a recording, Cabarute, with the New York Tango Trio and, in 1997, as the Music Director of Tango Mundo, he performed in Berlin. Currently, he is the Director of the acclaimed tango group, New York Buenos Aires Connection, which toured Europe and Russia in 1996 with the Irene Hultman Dance Company. He has recorded with Brazilian singer Ana Caram for Chesky Records and with Paquito d’Rivera for Messidor Records.
With the rise of the bandoneón on the concert and recording scene and the renewed interest in the tango-based music of Piazzolla, Jaurena’s talent has become eagerly sought after. He recently performed with Yo-Yo Ma in Boston, with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and with the Hollywood Bowl Philharmonic. Jaurena regularly performs with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra.