A different take on tango at The Sid

Quartango, Canada’s original tango band, is bringing its own distinctive take on the sensual ballroom dance to the Comox Valley.

Quartango is Nov. 3 at the Sid.

Quartango is Nov. 3 at the Sid.

Mark Allan

Special to The Record

Quartango, Canada’s original tango band, is bringing its own distinctive take on the sensual ballroom dance to the Comox Valley in a couple of weeks.

Since its formation in the 1980s, the quartet has left its own stamp on the music by insinuating jazz, Celtic, rock and other unexpected influences into cunningly innovative arrangements.

The quartet received the 2015 Juno Award for instrumental album of the year and the Opus Prize in 2013-2014 for world music album of the year as well as being a Félix Award finalist in 2014 for world music album of the year.

All of those honours were for its album Encuentro, which is Spanish for meeting.

Quartango member Jonathan Goldman said the title stems from the mingling of cultures in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires that created tango.

“As a port town, it was a place where a lot of people from all sorts of places from all over the world would live together,” he explained in an interview. “You would have people from Europe, from Spain, from Italy … eastern Europe, northern Europe, Poland, Germany, Russia and, importantly, too, you had musicians from West Africa.”

Tango has always been a product of these different influences, which Goldman said has appealed to Quartango members since its inception.

“We like to see how the tango can incorporate other genres and other stylistic idioms without losing its identity.

“Tango’s always been … nostalgic music. It’s very evocative music. When we play music people often tell us, ‘It’s like going to the movies where I can see a little cinema before my eyes.’”

Goldman explained that Quartango was Canada’s first tango band when it formed more than 30 years ago. Three-quarters of the musicians were immigrants from Argentina and Uruguay, where the tango originated.

In today’s all-Canadian lineup, he plays the bandoneon, a type of concertina (small accordion) particularly popular in Argentina, Uruguay and Lithuania.

“Bandoneon is really the instrument of tango,” said Goldman.

Bassist René Gosselin from Quebec is the only original member still with the band. He’s the principal double bass with Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain.

Stéphane Aubin is a composer, concert pianist, arranger, musical director, accompanist and vocal coach of many well-known singers.

Violinist Antoine Bareil, a graduate of the Music Conservatory of Trois-Rivières, is a scholar of the Wilfrid-Pelletier Foundation, winner of the Canada Music Competition who also studied at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria.

Goldman said Montreal is a tango hotspot.

“If you’re into dancing tango, there are dancing events every night of the week. They’re called milongas … it’s really popular.”

An associate professor of musicology in the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Music, Goldman  lived for six years in Victoria, where he was a professor of music at UVic.

“In Victoria, there are two (tango) dance schools I know of and there’s a tango festival.”

Goldman, who has been in the Comox Valley although he has never played at the Sid Williams Theatre, might learn when he’s here about the Comox Valley Tango Collective, which holds regular events.

The selections Quartango will play in Courtenay will also form its next album.

“It’s a way to showcase all those different influences, all those cultural encounters we make within the tango.”

With the new recording, Goldman says Quartango wants to evoke the spirit of Montreal in the 1940s and 1950s when the city “was famous for its nightlife, jazz clubs … tons of famous artists, jazz musicians from all over who would perform in cabarets.”

Quartango performs Nov. 3 at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay. The 2016–2017 Blue Circle Series is proudly presented by Odlum Brown Limited. For concert details and tickets, visit www.sidwilliamstheatre.com, phone 250-338-2430 or visit 442 Cliffe Ave.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A late-blooming Welsh poppy gave the Cox garden some unexpected colour last month. Photo by Leslie Cox
DUCHESS OF DIRT: La Nina signs not necessarily steeped in science

LESLIE COX Special to The Record I am beginning to think climate… Continue reading

The suspect is described as approximately 20-25 years old, between 5’3 to 5’4, with dark hair. He was wearing black Adidas pants, white shoes, and a puffy grey jacket. Photo supplied
Attempted robbery in Courtenay

Investigators from the Comox Valley RCMP Major Crime Unit are investigating

The Fifth Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
Fifth Street Bridge repairs to proceed in Courtenay

The unofficial results are in for the Fifth Street Bridge Rehabilitation Alternative… Continue reading

Windy conditions in Nanaimo’s Lost Lake area. (News Bulletin file photo)
Wind warning issued for the east coast of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada says people ‘should be on the lookout’ for adverse weather conditions

BC Hydro will release higher volumes of water down the Puntledge River on Nov. 24-25. Black Press file photo
BC Hydro testing hydroelectric facility system along Puntledge River all week

Tests will result in high water levels, possible siren initiation

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Jesse Ketler was acclaimed Tuesday as chair of the Comox Valley Regional District board. Scott Stanfield photo
Cumberland director to serve second term as CVRD board chair

Jesse Ketler has been acclaimed chair of the Comox Valley Regional District… Continue reading

Most Read