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Tango Masters Tear It Up with Reed Orchestra

By Brittney Corrigan-McElroy ’94 on March 31, 2015 11:56 AM

Tango ensemble Astillero, led by pianist Julián Peralta, performing live with students in the Reed Orchestra.

When the soundcheck wrapped up and the doors swung open, hundreds of excited music lovers swarmed inside, packing Kaul Auditorium for a once in a lifetime opportunity. Astillero, a highly influential band on the cutting edge of Argentina’s contemporary tango vanguard, spent a week at Reed visiting classes and rehearsing with the student orchestra, culminating in a performance of Soundtrack Buenos Aires on February 20. Led by pianist Julián Peralta, the band spent the evening alternately bantering with the audience in Spanish and delivering their revolutionary original music – urgent, aggressive, and bursting with rhythmic energy. By the end of the concert, the crowd was on their feet, cheering and shouting for more.

Astillero’s visit to Reed was co-sponsored by the departments of music, Spanish, political science, the office of the dean of the faculty, and the office of institutional diversity, and was made possible by donations from Christine Green, John Clark, Elizabeth Barringer, and James Richardson Clark ’14.

The event was presented by Tango for Musicians, North America’s leading tango workshop for musicians. Led by Prof. Morgan Luker [2010-present], the workshop takes place at Reed each June and attracts musicians from across the globe. It now boasts an artistic faculty coming directly from Buenos Aires that includes some of the most outstanding tango musicians and educators active today.

This summer’s conference (June 21-28) will include a number of public events, including a concert with Chamber Music Northwest on Saturday, June 27.