Pianist Alejandro Ziegler was only 12 years old when a cerebral hemorrhage ended the brilliant career of fellow Argentine Astor Piazzolla, the originator of Neuve Tango and one of the world’s most revered musical giants.
In a few short years, Ziegler would pick up the late Tango master’s torch and begin writing a new chapter in the genre’s storied history with his singular vision and enormous talent.
Born in Buenos Aires, Ziegler earned his degree in composition and orchestral conducting from the Universidad Catolica Argentina’s music university. After graduation, Ziegler joined the Buenos Aires City’s Tango Orchestra as a pianist for a two-year stint (where he learned under the renowned batons of conductors Emilio Balcarce and Nestor Marconi), then furthered his reputation as a composer with the release of several pieces of orchestral and chamber music.
Five years ago, Ziegler founded the Quartette with the express goal of recreating the Tango classics of Piazzolla, Troilo, Pugliese and di Sarli in addition to presenting his own original compositions. Ziegler’s recorded debut with the Quartette, naturally enough titled Tango, was released to great acclaim in 2008 and was followed by a live recording last year.
The Alejandro Ziegler Quartette translates Tango by combining the precision and tradition of a Classical Tango orchestra with the improvisational swing and spontaneity of a seasoned Jazz ensemble, and their passionate hybrid is a masterstroke of arrangement and performance. To paraphrase the great Tom Waits, Tango till you’re sore.
THE ALEJANDRO ZIEGLER QUARTETTE performs Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club downtown. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.