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Osvaldo at Cafe Pugliese Osvaldo and Lydia Pugliese
Recuerdo Tango Performance Tokyo Luminoso Bandoneon Performance
Osvaldo's father, Adolfo, was a worker in the shoe industry, and an amateur flutist, playing with small Tango Quartets in the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires. His two older brothers played the violin: Vicente Salvador, "Fito", and Alberto Roque, the latter was more involved than the former and was linked to music for several years. It was his father who taught him his first music lessons; he started first with violin too, but soon he switched to piano, but it took Don Adolfo a certain time to buy the expensive instrument. After being trained at Conservatories nearby, at 15 he started playing professionally at a small and rather unknown "Café de La Chancha." Sometime later, he then played at a more known café in Buenos Aires, where he became part of the group with the first female bandoneonist in Tango, Francisca "Paquita" Bernardo. Continuing with his career, Osvaldo joined the Enrique Pollet Quartet, and later he played in the famous Roberto Firpo orchestra. In 1927 he was pianist with the great bandoneonist Pedro Maffia and his orchestra. Together with violinist Elvino Vardaro, he then formed a group under their name which we know was avant-garde for the time. His definitive projection towards the tango he conceived commenced on August 11, 1939, when he reappeared at the Café Nacional. Amadeo Mandarino was the singer in his brand new orchestra. After a time he reorganized the group, then with Augusto Gauthier as vocalist. Pugliese was leader, pianist and arranger of a group which this time was working as a cooperative society which was a very new concept at the time. From a café placed in the Villa Crespo neighborhood they switched to the most important broadcast of the time, Radio El Mundo, so giving origin to an important group of followers made up of fans of his style. Osvaldo Ruggiero, a bandoneonist who remained with Pugliese until 1968, deeply influenced the group's style and rhythm. The same can be said of the violinist Enrique Camerano, born-–as someone said--to play with Pugliese. Pugliese was becoming the most faithful example of the De Caro Tango style, but with a strong rhythmic beat which was very appealing to the dancers.
Osvaldo at Cafe Pugliese Osvaldo and Lydia Pugliese
Alberto Moran Recien Astor Piazzola and Osvaldo Pugliese Malandraca
Of the greatest importance was, when his orchestra finally recorded in 1943, and the arrival of Roberto Chanel, a mature singer, with nasal sound and "compadrito" style, who left 31 recordings. To achieve a contrast, Pugliese included Alberto Morán as vocalist because of his dramatism, sensuality, rare quality of his mezza-voce and perfect match with the orchestral accompaniment. His appeal on women has never been equaled by any other singer. Morán left 48 recorded songs and performed often at Cafe La Nacional, amongst others. For a few years, Osvaldo Pugliese orchestra was banned for broadcasting as a means of political censorship because of his Communist Party affiliation, but it did not succeed in diminishing his popular acceptance. In the 40's Pugliese recorded some instrumental pieces of his own which were the avant-garde of the time. Such is the case of "La yumba" which became a sort of anthem of his orchestra. With "Negracha" and "Malandraca" he is regarded as a pioneer in the use of syncopation and counterpoint prior to Astor Piazzolla with whom he years later, made several recordings. In the 60's and 70's, Pugliese continued performing and then toured the world, having been invited to play in Tokyo and in Europe. In 1985, an unforgettable event in the history of Tango took place: the 80-year-old Pugliese was invited to perform a recital at the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires Opera House.) The applause was thunderous as he greeted the audience. --To my mother, who loved music more than anything, this Teatro Colón was heaven, he said, and then sat down and began to play. The dream that began 65 years before had finally come true. It was a brilliant triumph, the victory of a man who had made his life amongst the people.
  Watch Pugliese at the Teatro Colon
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