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ARTISTS,  EXPERIENCE,  History of Tango,  NEWS,  Orchestras

Juan D´Arienzo´s, First Steps

Part 2.
Author: Isidro Aguirre


He studied piano at the age of 8 int eh Mascagni conservatory and later violin in the Altiban-Piazzin conservatory, with masters Pane and Fassano.

D´ Arienzo was an eminent violin player. When he was 11 he was hired to play in the Child Theater in the Zoo, along is friends piano player Ángel D´Agostino and flute player Carlos Bianchi. This trio called themselves “Ases del Tango”.

During his teen years while he attended Nacional Mariano Moreno he also worked as a music salesman in the famous store Avelino Cabezas. It was there where he learnt about the music business, knowledge that he would later apply and that gave him a good commercial perspective.

He also worked in the music store Taurell, where he tested pianos and violins and promoted the sales of discs, music sheets and musical instruments.

In 1917, through Domingo De Bassi (the uncle of Arturo and Antonio De Bassi) he gets to know Carlos Posadas ( orchestra director, violin player and composer of the Guardia Vieja). He then gets to join the Teatro Avenida orchestra as a second violin while adopting the influences of this director.

After Posada´s death (1919 and 1920), he offered his piano duet with D´Agostino to play in Luis Arata´s, Tomás Simari and Eva Franco´s theater company production“ El Cabaret de Montmatre”.

He was joined by the great dancer “El Mocho” and his partner/wife (the duet was artistically known as “Los Undarz”) performing in several dance halls through Buenos Aires.

In 1921, jazz bands were heard in all cinemas. In this picture, young D´Arienzo joined Eugenio Nóbile, and together they created the Select Jazz-Band, the stable orchestra of the cinema “Select Lavalle”. They performed alongside Miguel De Matteo, Rafael Cosentino and Francisco Ferraro. These jazz years earnt him the nickname “El grillo”. After performing in te Select Lavalle they played in the Cine Real in 1922.

Later, in 1923 he joined (as a violin player) Nicolás Verona´s ensemble where Lucio Demare, was playing the piano at 20.

By 1924, he was part of the “Iberia” orchestra, on the Rondalla Cauvilla Prim, where he would preferentially play Spanish music. It was during those times where he composed “Little your mouth” (“Tu boquita”).

In 1925, Paramount calls for him to play in movies alongside the typical orchestra, composed by: Ángel D´Agostino (piano), Bianchi brothers (bandoneons), D´Arienzo and Alfredo Mazzeo (violins) and José Puglisi (bass). During this stage, he started creating his style, the one that would later highlight the sound of the piano and the fourth string played by Alfredo Mazzeo.

Shortly after, lechuguita Bianchi abandoned the group and was replaced, as a director, by great bandoneon player Anselmo Aieta. They re name the sextet “Los Ases del Tango” and they get a contract to perform in Cinema Hindu. This extended their fame through 1926 and 27. This orchestra was made up by Luis Visca (that replaced D´Agostino) on the piano, D’ Arienzo and Cuervo (violins), Aieta and Navarro (bandoneons) and Alfredo Corletto (bass).

In 1927, D’ Arienzo and Visca grew apart from Aieta, and they create a new group: Visca (piano), Domingo Moro and Juan José Visciglio (bandoneons); D´Arienzo and Mazzeo (violins); Nerón Ferrazano (violoncello); Corletto (bass) and Carlos Dante (singer).

It was by this time that he alternated his work as a violin player with the orchestra directed by great Francisco Pracánico.

Luis Visca, travels to Spain to celebrate his musical success (tango “El compadrón”) and they hire Juan Carlos Howard to replace him. With Visca gone, “El grillo” performed in the cine Río de la Plata de Gaona y Parral and, in the evenings in the cabaret “Florida” (“Florida Pigall”) in the Galería Güemes.

When Visca returns, he takes over piano and co-directing the orchestra, performing in the cabarets “Chantecler” and “Florida”. Visca and D´Arienzo stayed together up to 1934.



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