Tango for Musicians and Composers at Reed College

Artistic Faculty 2017

TFM artistic faculty

The members of our artistic faculty, many of whom are joining us from Buenos Aires, rank among the world’s greatest tango players, composers, and bandleaders. They are also passionate teachers and experienced educators, dedicated to transmitting their knowledge of tango to students of any background and level of experience. They include:

  • Paulina Fain
  • Exequiel Mantega
  • Diego Schissi
  • Ramiro Gallo
  • Hernan Possetti
  • Ignacio Varchausky
  • Sebastián Henríquez
  • Eva Wolff
  • Micaela Vita
  • Morgan Luker

All instruction and educational materials will be presented in English.

Paulina Fain

photo of Paulina Fain

Flutist and composer Paulina Fain is one of the most prominent tango pedagogues in the world. She is the director of the Método de Tango series published by Ricordi House, a unique series of bilingual instrumental method books. She is the author of The Flute in Tango volume in that series, which presents her original method for applying tango phrasing and articulation to the flute and other wind instruments, opening new avenues for those instruments in tango. She is also the director of Tango Para Músicos, the Buenos Aires-based affiliate of Tango For Musicians at Reed College. Fain has presented concerts and master classes throughout the world and directs the Buenos Aires-based nonprofit arts organization Tango Sin Fin, which promotes Argentine music and music education locally and internationally. As a performer, she has toured widely with pianist Exequiel Mantega as the Fain-Mantega Duo, a group that explores the limits of the genre and has established a new role and sound for the flute in tango.

Exequiel Mantega

photo of Exequiel Mantega

A prolific composer and arranger, pianist Exequiel Mantega has published more than 70 works, including an original edition of Astor Piazzolla’s six tango etudes newly arranged for two flutes (available worldwide via the French publishing house Henry Lemoine). He has contributed to more than 12 recordings, including three albums with the Duo Fain-Mantega, and participated in more than 100 concerts and seminars about tango music in Europe and the United States, where his compositions and arrangements are performed by a wide variety of ensembles. Mantega founded and has directed the Young Composers Orchestra since 2012. Emerging from a workshop he directed on tango orchestration, the ensemble exclusively performs original compositions and arrangements produced by members of the group. Alongside Paulina Fain, he is co-founder of the Buenos Aires-based nonprofit arts organization Tango Sin Fin, which promotes Argentine music and music education locally and internationally.

Diego Schissi

photo of Diego Schissi

A pianist, composer, and arranger, Diego Schissi has developed one of the most unique compositional voices active in contemporary tango. He is the director of the Diego Schissi Quinteto, a key group in the Buenos Aires tango scene. The Quinteto has produced three critically acclaimed albums, all of which feature Schissi’s original compositions: Tren (2006), Tongos (2010, distributed in the US on Sunnyside Records) and Tipas y Tipos (2012). Tongos received special mention at the Argentine National Music Awards and Tipas y Tipos won the Premio Gardel, the Argentine equivalent of a Grammy award, in the category “Best Alternative Tango Album.” Along with work for his quintet, Schissi also writes extensively for chamber music ensembles and produces soundtracks for film, theater, and television.

Ramiro Gallo

photo of Ramiro Gallo

Violinist Ramiro Gallo is one of today’s most prominent tango composers, bandleaders, and educators. He has played in symphonic and chamber orchestras around the world, including the Orquesta El Arranque as first violinist, arranger, and music director. In 2000, he created the Ramiro Gallo Quinteto, which has recorded five albums of original music and performed in major venues across Europe, Asia, and South America. In 2008, he founded Ramiro Gallo Y La Orquesta Arquetípica, a large ensemble that plays his original compositions. Along with Ernesto Méndez and Andrés Pilar, Gallo has been a member of the Trío Gallo-Méndez-Pilar since 2010. A composer of chamber and symphonic works, Gallo is also a dedicated teacher of tango violin, arrangement, and composition. He is the author of The Violin in the Tango, a bilingual, instrumental method book for tango violin players in the Método de Tango series by Ricordi House in Germany.

Hernan Possetti

photo of Hernan Possetti

Pianist Hernan Possetti is the author of The Piano in Tango volume in the Método de Tango series. He has taught tango piano at the Escuela de Música Popular de Avellaneda, one of Argentina’s most important tango music education institutions, since 1994. Alongside his work as a music educator and pedagogue, he has been in high demand as a performer, playing with many of the most prominent tango artists active today, including Julián Plaza, Julio Pane, Rodolfo Mederos, and Juan José Mosalini, among many others. He also specializes in vocal accompaniment, working with tango singers including Raul Lavie, Jorge Sobral, Guillermo Fernández, Néstor Fabián, Adriana Varela, Amelita Baltar, and Julia Zenko, among others.

Ignacio Varchausky

photo of Ignacio Varchausky

Bassist Ignacio Varchausky is the creator and artistic director of the Orquesta Escuela de Tango Emilio Balcarce, an innovative tango music education program that is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires. He is the founder of Orquesta El Arranque, one of the most prominent and successful tango ensembles of the current generation. With El Arranque, he has recorded seven critically acclaimed albums and toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He is the founder and artistic director of TangoVia Buenos Aires, a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to tango education and preservation, including the Digital Tango Archive program. As artistic producer, Varchausky has produced over 30 albums with artists such as Leopoldo Federico, Horacio Salgán, Gustavo Beytelmann, Julio Pane, Nestor Marconi, Diego Schissi, Lidia Borda, and El Arranque. He has also served as the artistic director of numerous tango festivals around the world.

Sebastián Henríquez

photo of Sebastián Henríquez

Sebastián Henríquez is a guitarist and teacher born in Neuquen. With a degree in Tango y folklore from the Conservatorio Superior de Música “Manuel de Falla,” he’s also a faculty member of said institution and the Universidad Nacional de San Martín. He has recorded over 17 albums as a guitarist and has performed alongside singers Guillermo Fernández, Hernán Lucero, La Bruja Salguero, and Florencia Dávalos, among others. As a soloist, he has played on the most important venues and festivals in Argentina, such as “La música interior,” “Guitarras del mundo,” and “Nuestras guitarras”. He’s a member of the guitar duet Dúo Cedro, the guitar quartet La Hendija, and the Diego Schissi Trio. He’s also a part of Quinteto Bataraz (WOMEX Selection 2016), whose 2015 debut album was granted the Fondo Nacional de las Artes prize and two Premios Gardel 2015 awards.

Eva Wolff

photo of Eva Wolff

Bandoneónist and composer Eva Wolff is the author of the forthcoming The Bandoneón in Tango volume in the Método de Tango series. She forms part of the cast of Boulevard Tango, a show directed by and starring Cecilia Figaredo. She graduated from the Rotterdam Conservatory, where she studied with Leo Vervelde and Gustavo Beytelmann, and from the Orquesta Escuela, where she played with maestros Raúl Garello, Emilio Balcarce, Julián Plaza, José Libertella and Victor Lavallén, among others. Wolff has accompanied singers such as María Graña, Guillermo Fernández, and Alicia Vignola. She has recorded with the Orquesta Nacional de Juan de Diós Filiberto, the Orquesta Escuela, and Boulevard Tango Ensamble. Wolff is currently recording an album with Hernán Possetti as well as her first album as a composer, with works for string quartet, bandoneón, piano, and double bass.

Micaela Vita

photo of Micaela Vita

Micaela Vita is one of the most renowned singers in Argentina's new popular music scene. Throughout her long career, she has appeared on more than a dozen albums, including three remarkable releases as lead singer of Duratierra, a group which performs freshly-produced, original compositions connected with the Latin American musical tradition. She has also recorded and performed extensively with bassist Willy González in a duo devoted to traditional Argentinian repertoire. In 2016, she was invited by the famous Afro-Peruvian singer Susana Baca to perform with her group at Buenos Aires' Teatro Opera in front of a 2000-person audience. A graduate of the Escuela de Música Contemporánea in Buenos Aires, Vita has spent more than 20 years studying and experimenting with different vocal techniques and has broad experience coordinating vocal and instrumental pedagogic ensembles and teaching as a private instructor.

Morgan Luker

photo of Morgan Luker

Morgan Luker is an assistant professor of music at Reed College and director of Tango for Musicians at Reed College. An ethnomusicologist, he holds a PhD from Columbia University. His research focuses on contemporary tango music in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is currently finishing a book manuscript on how contemporary tango music is used as a resource for social and economic development in Argentina, drawing upon his extensive fieldwork with tango musicians, music industry figures, and cultural policymakers in Buenos Aires. His work on these topics has appeared in numerous academic journals. He has also presented his work at conferences throughout the US, Latin America, and Europe. At Reed, Morgan teaches on a wide variety of topics in world music and culture.

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