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Wed, 12.02.1874

Carlos Posadas, African influence in Tango

*Carlos Posadas was born on this date in 1874. He was an Afro-Argentinean musician and composer.

From Buenos Aires, Posadas came from a family of strong musical traditions. His older brother Manuel was an exceptional musician too. Carlos Posadas used to play at church services. When cinemas in Buenos Aires began using music to accompany silent movies, Posadas played at several movie theatres in a trio, accompanied by Ennio Bolognini in cello and a pianist named Pizzapia. He also played at the legendary Hansen café/dance hall, where most of the early tango bands of the 1900s used to perform regularly for dancing.

He lived only 44 years, but produced some of the best known tango compositions in the history of early tango: 'Cordón de oro,' 'Jagüel,' 'El retirao,' and 'El tamango.' With Juan José Castro and his brother José María.  He befriended many of the early tango greats, like Ernesto Zambonini, the author of 'El rengo' and 'La clavada,' and the legendary Juan 'Pacho' Maglio, with whom he used to play at another renowned dance hall of that era, the 'Garibotto,' which was located atthe corner of Pueyrredón and San Luis streets in Buenos Aires. The Cuarteto La Armonía made the only early recording of a Posadas tango in 1913.

Some of Posadas' compositions can be heard in modern versions by Aníbal Troilo ('Cordón de oro,' 'El tamango' and 'El retirao,' recorded in 1941 and 1957), Carlos di Sarli ('El retirado'(cq) in 1939 and 'El Jagüel' in 1943, 1952 and 1956) and Juan D'Arienzo. There also more contemporary versions by the Federico-Berlingieri Trio (1972) and Ernesto Baffa.  Carlos Posadas died on November 12, 1918.

Reference:
Ricardo A. Ostuni (article)
Club de Tango Magazine,
December 12, 1994.

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