With a mission to educate the Pittsburgh community on traditional style tango music from Argentina going back to the 1920s, Aqui Tango is a local band working to make tango music relevant and accessible “aqui”—or “here”—in Pittsburgh. Aqui Tango also regularly performs at the Pittsburgh dance center in Bloomfield where tango dance enthusiasts gather each week to practice the dance. The band is also available for special events and weddings.
After a three-year hiatus, Aqui Tango is re-launching with new original compositions and upcoming performances. Founded more than 10 years ago, the group was originally known asTangeros de Ley. The name change to Aqui Tango—meaning “here tango”—speaks to the band’s mission to make authentic, traditional style tango music accessible to people here in Pittsburgh. Part of this accessibility is helping to educate people on the different styles of tango, specifically more traditional pieces dating back to the 1920s.
The band includes four members:
In addition to the band’s Argentinean-born co-founder and original compositions, what makes Aqui Tango different is their selection of repertoire dating back to the very beginnings of tango, including works from Carlos Gardel. One of the most passionate genres of music, tango is becoming more and more popular in Pittsburgh. Aqui Tango is making the music available to the growing community of tango dancers and aficionados.
“As a classically trained musician, playing tango gives me the freedom to break out from my formal training and just let go,” said band member Maureen Conlon Gutierrez. “It allows me to add my own interpretation and passion to the music.”
Compared to modern tango that is played straight from sheet music from composers such as Astor Piazzola, Maureen describes traditional tango as much less angular—meaning musicians have freedom to interpret the music and improvise—while drawing a connection to folk or popular music. “Depending on the musician playing, you can have a completely different experience from one musician’s interpretation to the next,” said Maureen.
Aqui Tango has six original compositions written by Argentinean-born band member Ernesto Contenti. The song “Part of Me” is an original piece with lyrics in both English and Spanish, and describes Ernesto’s personal experience moving to Pittsburgh and assimilating to a new place that he now calls his hometown.
Contact Maureen Conlon to learn more or to book a performance.