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

Si Sos Brujo: the interview with Caroline Neal, the director of the award-winning documentary

Si Sos Brujos – audio 1.
Si Sos Brujos – audio 2.
Si Sos Brujos – audio 3.

Si Sos Brujos: the documentary filmed in BsAs about preservation the secrets of Golden Era TangoSi Sos Brujo is the great documentary. It is about the preservation of great traditions of the Argentine tango music and the visionary leadership. Si Sos Brujo traces the organization of Orquesta Escuela de Tango or Training Orchestra of Tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I had a privilege to interview Caroline Neal, the director of Si Sos Brujo on May 5, 2008 via phone.

Emilio Balcarce and young musicians

The shot from Si Sos Brujos. Emilio Balcarce and young musicians.

We talked about her documentary, about the near-death and resurrection of Argentine tango, about the events that surrounded the creation of Orquesta Escuela de Tango, about the charismatic musicians who appeared in the documentary (Emilio Balcarce, Ignacio Varchauski). We also talked in depth about the other

projects aimed at the preservation of tango heritage in Argentina (Tango Via, spearheaded by tireless Ignacio Varchauski).

We also discussed Caroline’s next video project. Just like Si Sos Brujo, it is about tango music. Listen to find out who is the subject of her second documentary!

Well… of course, there is the second story behind the story of Si Sos Brujo – a love story. Hear it – very inspirational.

You can find another interview with Caroline Neal in eltangodata.com.

My great tango friend Max Valentinuzzi translated two  interviews with Emilio Balcarce (the first director of OET) and  Nestor Marconi (the second director of OET) from Música BA website. Max inserted some interesting cultural and autobiographical comments into his translations. Max’s comments are in square brackets  marked “MV“.

Available on Amazon.com

Orquesta Escuela De Tango (all CDs, MP3 format)

Orquesta El Arranque (all CDs, MP3 format)


Track 1

Orquesta Escuela de Tango – Si sos Brujo

Emilio Balcarce Orquestra – El motivo

Escuela De Tango – Bien Compadre

El Arranque – Pa’L Arranque

Track 2

El Arranque – Redención

Alfredo Gobbi – El Andariego

Alfredo Gobbi – El Engobbiao

Orquesta Escuela de Tango – La Bordona

Track 3

Orquesta Escuela de Tango – La Cumparsita

Orquesta Escuela de Tango – La Yumba

Néstor Marconi Trío – Cuando Tú No Estás

Horacio Salgan – Comme il Faut

Orquesta Escuela de Tango – De Contrapunto

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Orquesta Escuela de Tango (OET)

OET (Training Orquestra of Tango) was created in 2000 with the objective of forming the young musicians within  instrumental practices recovered from the orchestral experiences of Typical  Orchestras of the Golden Age.

From its very beginning, this Orchestra was directed by one of the greatest  composers and arrangers of tango history, the bandoneonist and violinist Emilio  Balcarce.

This Orchestra has already compiled two albums, produced by EPSA MUSIC: De  Contrapunto [Of Contrapoint] (2000) and Bien Compadre [Rather Prudish] ( 2004). [MV: In the porteño slang  “compadre” has a  particular meaning: it refers to a guy who is arrogant, likes to brag, he easily  gets involved in fights, he owns women, walks and talks in a very distinctive  way, always calling attention. A “porteño” is the native of Buenos Aires city.]

The syllabus followed by OET gives the students the opportunity to immerse  themselves into the most important orchestral styles of the Buenos Aires musical  history: Troilo, Pugliese, Salgán, Piazzolla, Di Sarli, Federico, D´Arienzo,  Fresedo, Gobbi, De Caro, among others. Each style is carefully approached from  the respective of the original arrangements and it is illustrated by records and  biographies.

The program requires the students to stay with the Orquestra for two years. The  first group graduated in December 2002.

Director of the Orchestra: Néstor Marconi

Program Coordinator: Ignacio Varchausky

Staff: Ramiro Gallo (soloist, assistant violinist), Federico  Pereiro (soloist, assistant bandoneonist), Andrés Linetzky (assistant pianist),  Nicolás Capsitsky (copies).

Selection Conditions for the Applicants:

The selection of the applicants is done by the committee consisting of the  Director, the soloist assistants, the Program Coordinator and an outstanding  invited musician. The decision is not a subject to appeal.

Selection is carried out in an audition session under the following scheme:

-Execution of an elective piece chosen by the applicant to demonstrate  his/her technical and interpretative skills;

-Execution of pieces given to him/her: Danzarín (by Julián Plaza), for  viola and cello, and La Bordona (by Emilio Balcarce), for double-basso,  piano, bandoneon and violin; both with arrangements and with the Orchestra.  Scores are given for each instrument during registration.

-First sight reading test.

Besides technique and musical interpretation, expectations, interest and  availability to play in OET are evaluated.

MORE INFO: Música BA(Spanish), TangoData.com(English)

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Special Thanx

Max Valentinuzzi of Tucuman,  Argentina for translating the articles

Mike Telin of Latitude 45 Artistic Agency for putting me in touch with Caroline and all  his efforts to promote Argentine tango


Tango Via – the  non-profit umbrella organization dedicated to preservation and popularization of  tango

Música BA information, interviews, contact info about Orquesta Escuela de Tango

TangoData.com(English) – information about OET

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