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.
Bailaora (flamenco dancer), María Juncal, was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands. She was raised by a flamenco family—her great aunt is the famed flamenco master, Trini Borrull. The history of flamenco has only been documented over the past 200 years or so, and much of what we know of this art, the songs, the stories, the dance, has been passed down through family dynasties, like that of the Borrul. Juncal studied ballet and classic Spanish dance in Tenerife and then she moved to Madrid to study with the flamenco masters and legendary dance troupes, such as el Guito, Manolete, Ciro, Cristobal Reyes, Merche Esmeralda and La Tati. Her career took off soon after and she performed as a soloist in Los Angeles in both Pasion Pura by Joaquin Cortes and in Musa by Paco Peña in collaboration with actress and dancer, Debbie Allen. She danced in the opera Carmen in the Palacio of Fine Arts in Mexico City. Among her many awards are the Antonio Gades National Prize for Flamenco Dance (2004), Cordoba, Spain, the Premio Desplante from the International Festival of Song from Las Minas, Murcia, Spain (2006), and Best Flamenco Soloist in the Teatro Albeniz Choreography Competition for her performance in The Confinement of Anne Frank in Madrid, Spain. Juncal pursues a rigorous daily routine of study and practice and is highly sought after to give master classes.
Mezzo-Soprano Anamer Castrello a native of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. In May 2015 she made her Carnegie Hall debut at Weill 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, great critical acclaim. She performed with Bel Cantanti Opera he Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. Other concert performances included mezzo-soprano soloist for Luis Bacalov’s Misa Tango with the Choral Arts Society of Washington and the Pan American Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Scott Tucker and Sergio Buslje, at the Kennedy Center, and Lawrence Ries's Sea Surface Full of Clouds (World Premiere) with The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ul James. Other concerts include the Mozart’s Requiem, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Duruflé’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
"Castrello has a powerful and passionate voice..." (Washington Post), making her mark as one of the most impressive and versatile artists in the Washington, DC, area. She holds a Doctoral degree in Vocal Performance from Catholic University of America. Among her many awards are Gulf Coast Regional Auditions for the Metropolitan Opera, winner at the Catholic University Concerto/Aria Competition, "Best Latino Female Vocalist" at the Washington Area Music Awards, and the "Operatic Singing Artist of the Year Award" from the Institute of Puerto Rico in New York. She 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. She also participated in the International Opera Festival in Rome, Italy playing Marcellina in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Other roles include, Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Zia Principessa in Puccini's Suor Angelica, Carmen in Bizet's Carmen, Madame Flora in Menotti's The Medium, Ottavia in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, Cornelia in Handel'sGiulio Cesare, Luisa Fernanda in Torroba's Luisa Fernanda, Estrelda in Sousa's El Capitan, Paloma in Barbieri's El Barberillo de Lavapies, and Maria la O in Lecuona's Maria la O, among others. Currently, Castrello is a Teaching Artist with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Lyric Opera of Baltimore in their Education and Community Programs.
Born in Florence, South Carolina, Chris grew up listening to the sounds of gospel, blues, soul, and rhythm and blues, although he considered all these to be “old people’s music”. But over the years, he came full circle and drew on these early listening experiences to develop his overall approach to music today. Hemingway's natural fluency in both classical and jazz styles separates him from most chamber musicians. He recounts that he came to music late yet he was only 21 years old when he was the featured soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He studied at Duquesne University, winning the School of Music’s prestigious concerto competition. He also studied with James Houlik at the North Carolina School of the Arts.Hemingway is now in his 13th season with the New Century Saxophone Quartet, the first ensemble of its kind to win first prize at New York City's world-famous Concert Artist Guild competition, Hemingway's career is complemented equally with an active freelance jazz schedule with notable ensembles such as the Stan Rubin Orchestra, the Valery Ponomarev Big Band and George Burton's Group 5. Hemingway and the Quartet have performed all over the world and in U.S., including two command performances for President Bill Clinton at the White House. He has performed and recorded with musicians such as Azucar, Pittsburgh's premier salsa band, legendary jazz drummer Roger Humphries, funk and jazz bassist Dwayne Dolphin, legendary soul and R&B singer Patti LaBelle, jazz saxophonist Lew Tabackin, Azerbaijani jazz pianist Shahin Novrasli, master funk drummer Poogie Bell, legendary funk bassist Victor Bailey, drummer/percussionist sensation Kahlil Kwame Bell, trombone and arranger Frank Lacey, bassist Tony Depaolis, and with jazz trumpeter Sean Jones. Hemingway also leads his own group, the Chris Hemingway Quintet, a genre-crossing sound with rock-infused chords, heavy swing, angular rhythms, rhythmic elasticity, and surprising harmonies. In 2007, Hemingway won an Emmy Award for his performance on the PBS radio show, Live from Studio A. He recently joined the immensely popular Postmodern Jukebox, which has racked up over 700 million views on Youtube and tours throughout the world.
2018 Latin Grammy Award winner bassist and composer Pedro Giraudo is one of the most important interpreters of tango today. His Grammy winning album Vigor Tanguero has been called by critics passionate, moving, and daring. Originally from Cordoba, Argentina, Giraudo debuted his own Tango Orchestra at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing in July 2015 and since then has become an active cultural ambassador of this beautiful and passionate music of his native Argentina.
In 2014 Ruben Blades’ CD “Tangos” on which he recorded bass won two Grammys Awards (Best Tango Album & Best Latin Pop). Giraudo collaborated with Grammy award winner Pablo Ziegler, 9-time Grammy award winner Paquito D’Rivera, and Dizzy Gillespie’s protégé William Cepeda, as well as ‘ango meets Jazz guests Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garret, Regina Carter, Nestor Torres, Miguel Zenon among many others.
His discography includes An Argentinian in New York (Zoho Music 2018), Vigor Tanguero (Zoho Music 2018), Cuentos (Zoho Music 2015), Córdoba (Zoho Music 2011), El Viaje (2009) , Desconsuelo (2005), Mr Vivo (2002) and Destiny of Flowers (2000). Córdoba won 2011 Latin Jazz Corner’s Latin Jazz Large Ensemble Album Of The Year, Latin Jazz Boundary Breaking Album Of The Year, South American Jazz Album Of The Year, and Latin Jazz Composition Of The Year while ‘l Viaje won 2010 Best Latin Jazz Album Of The Year, and Best Latin Jazz Large Ensemble Album Of The Year, as well as Best Latin Jazz Composition.
In 2013 Giraudo was commissioned by Música de Cámara a piece for string orchestra which will be presented in May 2014. He recently finished pieces for members of the San Diego Symphony and for Japanese clarinetist Sawako Yoshida. In 2008, Giraudo was awarded a composer’s commission through the Jazz Gallery in New York, for a new work for his large ensemble; and in 2010, he was commissioned by the JazzReach initiative to compose a new work for their Big Drum/Small World main-stage program. He has played bass on dozens of recordings for the world’s leading labels including Sony, Warner, Nonesuch, Naxos and Harmonia Mundi, as well as for independent projects, and on movies including Oliver Stone’s ‘all Street II. He is also the principal bassist of the Hudson Symphony Orchestra and the Música de Cámara String Ensemble.
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.
Raised in Southern Illinois, Jaimee Paul grew up in a home filled with music, from Beethoven to Bing Crosby and Abba to Aretha Franklin. She started singing very young, and performed the first time at a women's club at age 5. She studied classical piano and played French horn in school bands. Never imagining a career as a singer, she instead decided to study the business of music at Belmont University in Nashville. After graduating, she began studio session work in Nashville while continuing to sing gospel and jazz and working for BMI and CCM Magazine. It was while she was singing with the Grammy-nominated Christ Church Choir, that Wynonna Judd recognized her impressive talent and invited Ms. Paul to join her as a background vocalist. She has also toured with pop sensation Kelly Clarkson, sung with Lyle Lovett, and recorded with Don Henley and Frankie Valli.
In the midst of touring with Wynonna in 2008, Ms. Paul was signed to Green Hill Music as its first female vocalist, and her debut album, At Last, reached No. 1 on the iTunes Jazz Albums chart in 2009. Shortly thereafter, her debut album was released -- a collection of signature songs by the great female icons of jazz and blues. At Last features the distinctive sound of Ms. Paul backed by Nashville's own jazz piano icon, Beegie Adair, and her trio, as well as a sumptuous string orchestra conducted by Jeff Steinberg. “For me, At Last was a very personal experience,” says Ms. Paul. “All the great lady singers that we saluted were inspirations to me, and all of the songs we selected are among my innermost personal favorites." Since then, she has recorded several other albums on Green Hill, including Bonded - a tribute to the music of James Bond, produced by multi-Grammy Award winning producer, Michael Omartian. Her latest recording, Too Marvelous is a tribute to the great songwriter Johnny Mercer.
Diana Carolina Granda Mazo (piano); Julio David Mira Palacio (guitar); Marco Blandón Correa (bandoneón); Paulo Cesar Parra Valencia (double bass); Sebastián Montoya Vallejo (violin)
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 performed again with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra in 2017 in Antologia de la Zarzuela. .
Carolina Jaurena grew up surrounded by tango with her father, bandoneón player Raul Jaurena, and her mother, Marga Mitchell a tango singer. 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 the Sudwestfalen Philarmonic, Germany, the Pan American Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Westfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. She appeared on Fox 5 "Good Day New York" show with Penny Crone, with "Today in New York" on NBC, and on Univision's popular Saturday night show, "Sabado Gigante". Carolina has participated in countless festivals, including 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 Pan American Symphony Orchestra.
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
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.
A proto-retro crucible of cool, Chaise Lounge first formed for a one-day gig that has now lasted 17 years…and counting. Composer and producer Charlie Barnett originally brought the cadre of professional musicians together to record a film soundtrack. At that session, the chemistry was instant. The players’ shared interests in jazz, cinematic scoring, sixties pop, and vintage vinyl made for a joyous meeting of mod minds. A band was born. Six albums later, Chaise Lounge has dazzled crowds at venues large and small, from New York’s famed Iridium Club to The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Their one-of-a-kind sound is part singer-songwriter and part jazz past master. Marilyn Older’s luminous, inviting vocals echo Anita O’Day and Peggy Lee and their wry lyrics regularly inspire raucous audience sing-alongs. The players’ musical influences include Louis Prima, Sam Butera, and Sammy Davis Jr. In concert, Chaise Lounge’s suits are vintage sharkskin. Their humor is vintage Shecky Green. And their music is uniformly delightful. Whether jamming in an intimate jazz club or fronting a full orchestra in one of their Symphony Lounge concerts, the band displays serious chops with a decidedly lighthearted attitude. Members are Charlie on piano and guitar; Tommy Barrick on drums; Gary Gregg on sax, clarinet, and flute; Joe Jackson on trombone; Marilyn on vocals; and Pete Ostle on bass.
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.
Andres is an instructor and choreographer who began dancing Argentine tango at 11 years old. He studied with masters Miguel Angel Zotto, Martin Ojeda, Roberto Herrera, Julio Balmaceda and Gabriel Misse. He launched his career in 1999 when he toured Colombia with the Colombo Argentina Tango Festival. 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 choreographed "Por el amor al tango", directed by Erskine Maytorena in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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.. Cavallaro disbanded Bando and within a few months he formed a new group, 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 Cavallaro. The Bruno Cavallaro Quartet recorded an album, City Madness (Ciudadana Locura), featuring works composed and arranged by Cavallaro.
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.
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.