Author: Isidro Aguirre
Juan D´Arienzo, alias “El grillo” or “El ñato”, was born in the neighborhood of Balvanera, on Victoria Street (nowadays known as Hipólito Yrigoyen) and Virrey Cevallos, in the city of Buenos Aires on December 14th, 1900 and died in the same city on January 14, 1976.d
He was one of the most important and famous figures in Argentine tango. He was well known as a violin player, composer and orchestra director, this earnthim the nickname “The king of compass” for his qualified rhythm. According to D´Arienzo his orchestra was sharp, with a nervous and vibrant rhythm; this was due to the fact that tango has three main characters: compass, effect and nuances.
He performed uninterruptible during fifty eight years as a musician alongside several figures such as Carlos Posadas, Ángel D´Agostino, Lucio Demare, Anselmo Aieta, Luis Visca, Carlos Di Sarli, Rodolfo Biaggi, Juan Polito, Héctor Varela, Fulvio Salamanca, Cayetano Puglisi, among others.
During his career he recorded one thousand and twelve registers, to name a few: the milonga “La puñalada” and the tango “La cumparsita” that selled over 18.000.000 records.
He also composed various tangos such as “Chirusa”, “Paciencia”, “Nada más”, “Ya lo ves”, “Si la llegaras a ver”, “Con alma de tango”, “El vino triste”, “Dos Guitas” and “Garronero”.
Several singers performed under his wing: Carlos Dante, Francisco Firentino, Walter Cabral, Alberto Echague, Alberto Reynal, Carlos Casares, Héctor Mauré, Juan Carlos Lamas, Armando Laborde, Roberto Lemos, Mario Bustos, Jorge Valdez, Horacio Palma, Héctor Millán and Osvaldo Ramos. The most representatives were: Alberto Echague, Héctor Mauré and Armando Laborde.
He also took part in six movies: “¡Tango!” (1933), “Melodías porteñas” (1937), “Yo quiero ser bataclana” (1941), “El cantor del pueblo” (1948), “La voz de mi ciudad” (1953) and “Una ventana al éxito” (1966).
Juan D´Arienzo had aerofobia, this was the reason why he never left Argentina. This trauma is born with Carlos Gardel´s tragic death and to the fact that (it appears) in 1932 Carlos Gardel told Leguisamo one night at the “Chantecler” Cabaret, that he would die in a plane crash. He thought it was nonsense at the time, but after the accident, he knew that it was a premonition. All of these made him say “I never wanted to get on a plane”. But this didn´t stop his Great Orchestra to travel to Japan (under his supervision though he was not present) in 1968 and 1972, satisfying both emperor Hiroshito and prince Akihito.