Tango Tales: all about Argentine Tango – modern, Golden Age, electronico, alternative

Brief history of Argentine tango music as told by Max Valentinuzzi

Max Valentinuzzi he played piano for the various bands (mostly tango) in Buenos Aires between 1946 and 1956. In 2007 Bob Barnes of Mandragora Tango Orchestra organized the lecture about tango fo the local dance community. Max was a lecturer and shared his knowledge of Argentine tango.

History of Tango – audio 1.

History of Tango – audio 2.

History of Tango – audio 3.

History of Tango – audio 4.

History of Tango – audio 5.

History of Tango – audio 6.


Max does not pretend to be the authority on tango – he thinks of himself as an amateur. It does not take away from the value of his knowledge of tango. It is great that Max is able to convey his knowledge in English.

Max Valentinuzzi at his piano

Max Valentinuzzi at his piano. The microscope on the top of the piano indicates that Max dedicated his professional life to physiology & biophysics.

This recording of Max’s lecture was sent to me by Bo Barnes, the leader of Mandragora  (check out the band’s site for the lovely dance tracks and other interesting tango goodies).

I enjoyed what I heard so much that I decided to”convert” the recording into the radio shows.

All the translations recited in this show belong to th pen of Jake Spatz from Washington, DC, who translates tango lyrics beautifully (check out his site, there are over 80 translations + essays)


In his story Max mentioned Emilio Balcarce, the composer of great La Bordona. It is funny, but a few weeks after the show I bought a copy of Si Sos Brujos, the documentary about the preservation of the orchestral secrets of the tango’s Golden Age.

Emilio Balcarce was an active participant of this project. Already in his late 80s, the master came out of his retirement to teach the young musicians how to play tango old way. The documentary shows another musician mentioned by Max – J. Plaza.

It is a pleasure to watch how the music “shrunk” the generation gap of 50-60 years between the maestros and their under-studies.


February 26th, 2013
Published as: notes about tango, radio productions.   Subject(s): tango - music.