A tango treat is coming to Northamptonshire with a chance to learn it, dance it, watch it and hear it performed by one of the Argentina’s finest singers.
Award-winning tango vocalist, Martín Alvarado, comes to the UK in May as part of his 27th international tour and among the dates is one at Towcester Town Hall on Sunday May 4 at 8pm
The Buenos Aires-born troubadour has earned worldwide renown for his exceptional tenor voice.
Tickets for the Towcester concert, which includes dance performances, are £10 in advance or £12 on the door. They are available at the Dolphin Café in Watling Street, Towcester, and online at www.musicglue.com/l-tango-promotions/listings/.
Alvarado is now widely considered to be one of the most exciting contemporary vocalists in traditional tango to have emerged from Argentina for decades. He has even been described as a 21st Century successor to the late, great tango singing superstar, Carlos Gardel, who died in 1935.
Like Gardel, Alvarado, unusually for tango singers who are normally part of a band or a touring dance show, performs as a soloist, often just accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.
On this tour he will be joined by an acclaimed Peruvian pianist and bandoneón player, Claudio Constantini, performing in the UK for the first time. Alvarado and Constantini, who is considered to be one of the most accomplished bandoneón players based in Europe at the moment, have worked together many times at theatres and festivals in Latvia, Belgium, Finland, Spain, and Russia, including the Philharmonic Hall in St Petersburg.
In Towcester, the show will include performances by dancers Guillermo Torrens and Maria Maragaki who last year won two Latin UK Awards. The couple have both performed with Strictly Come Dancing stars Vincent and Flavia in their popular touring show, Midnight Tango.
In Tango de Amor, the dancers will be performing Argentine tango in a completely improvised style. This is how it is danced in Buenos Aires socially but it is unusual to see it danced in this way for stage performances which are mostly highly choreographed routines.
Though less showy, this form of dance is no less skilful or engaging to watch, as it requires the dancers to be completely in tune with each other and the music - both emotionally and artistically - in order to create, intuitively, a unique interpretation.
Guillermo and Maria will also be leading a class for beginners wanting to take their first tango steps from 6pm to 7pm at the town hall. The cost is £6. There is no need for a partner – just come along and give it a go.
Alvarado’s nine-date, ten-day tour, from May 2 to 11, which takes him to towns, cities and villages around the country, from Gloucestershire to Lincolnshire, is being organised by Lisa Cherry-Downes, of Nottingham-based L Tango Promotions.
She said: “I am really looking forward to taking Martin and, for the first time, Claudio, around the UK. Martin always gets a great reception wherever he plays in the world, whether it is a philharmonic hall in Russia or a village hall in England.”
“I am also looking forward to working on four of the dates with Guillermo and Maria who are very talented and elegant dancers. In particular I am pleased to be showing ‘the real Argentine tango’. My aim with this show is to step away from some of the tango clichés which dominate people’s perception of this artform – both musically and in the dancing.
“The dancing is not what you see on Strictly, which is choreographed to within inches of its life. And the music is pared back to a simple yet often very moving level which cuts through the language barrier. From the feedback I have had from this show in other parts of the country, the audiences really enjoy what they are seeing – tango at its most sensual.”
Alvarado added: “I love touring in the UK – the audiences are very responsive and appreciative of what it is I do. And it is always a bit of magical mystery tour with Lisa, which is fun.”
Last year, Alvarado picked up the Latin UK Award for Concert by International Artist of the Year and also had his last album released by one of the leading world music record companies, World Music Network, on their prestigious Riverboat label. The album, Guitar Tango: Más Allá, was described on Radio 3 as “a jewel album” and earned a four-star review in Songlines magazine. Another critic described it as the best tango album to be released in recent years.
As a singer his trademarks are emotionally engaging performances of a largely modern repertoire of tango, including rare Piazzolla numbers, other Argentinian styles, and some self-composed songs.
BBC Radio 3 presenter Max Reinhardt, who heard him perform in London last year, described him as “totally mesmerising, a tango epiphany”.
Alvarado’s talent was first discovered on the streets of Barcelona in 2002 where he was singing for tourists and trying to earn enough money to record his first album. He was heard busking and invited to perform in Finland which has a vibrant tango tradition of its own.
Within weeks of arriving there in 2003, news of his talent had spread and he was invited to perform with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. Since then he has toured almost continuously and performed, often to sold-out audiences, more than 500 times.
His 27th international tour also takes in concerts in Russia, Finland and Spain, including two solo concerts at St Petersburg’s famous Music Hall, a performance at the Alexander Theatre in Helsinki and starring roles in three performances of the Piazzolla operita, Maria de Buenos Aires, in Finland.
Details of all the UK dates and tickets can be found at https://www.musicglue.com/l-tango-promotions and more information about Alvarado, his music and his tour can be found at www.martinalvarado.info