Tango Rendezvous Ensemble has quite a colorful history. It was founded by several musicians including myself and Alejandro Encinas (the violist of the Mississippi Fine Arts String Trio). I must say, however, that the real creator of the Tango Rendezvous Ensemble, its "Heart and Soul," is Alejandro Drago, concert violinist, teacher, conductor and composer from Argentina, who specializes in Astor Piazzolla's Tango music.
Please go to www.alejandrodrago.com for more information about this artist.
I personally fell in love with Piazzolla's music in 2003 while staying at the home of the pianist of the Minnesota Orchestra, Vladimir Levitsky. He was the one that introduced me to this fabulous music. I could not believe that this sort of exciting, fun and passionate music was created in such recent history... and I didn't know about it! Having grown up in Poland with a pianist/accordionist father, who often played tangos, hearing the music of Piazzolla felt like coming home. Tango has always been very popular in Poland and therefore close to my heart.
The videos you see here were made during our debut performance in 2008 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The intensity and the excitement of the evening was very high. It is important to mention that the Piazzolla's music is deceivingly difficult. The musicians must not only be great players, but also be able to follow the soloist, in this case Mr. Drago, without a conductor. My role here was to be a sort of a Concertmaster leading the group from my chair. Mr. Drago, as a soloist, must have the freedom to interpret his part in such a way that it almost sounds improvised. Piazzolla's music is very complex, similar in its intricasies to the music of Bach. Most of Piazzolla's tangos are arranged by various composers, in this case Mr. Drago. Probably the most important aspect of Piazzola's tangos is the inner rhythmic drive and a very particular style of articulation and emphasis, which has to be learned. When done well, it has almost a hypnotic effect on the listener.
You must really love this music and "feel" it in your body and soul to do its true justice. It is not for everyone for sure, it is however a fantastic experience when it works well with all the players. I feel very lucky to have been part of this inaugural performance of the Tango Rendezvous Ensemble. Many of the members of the ensemble have changed over time. We have had musicians from all over the world, which makes each of our concerts an incredibly rich experience. We have represented countries such as Argentina, Poland, Peru, Brazil, Hungary, Colombia, Romania, USA and others. We have performed at such prestigious venues as Ibague Jazz Festival in Ibague, Colombia, Nachez Music Festival in Nachez, MS, MacPhail Center for Music's Antonello Hall in Minneapolis, MN, Hattiesburg Music Festival, MS, and the University of North Dakota, ND.