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MDC Live Arts Celebrates the Rebirth of Jazz Tango with Pablo Aslan Quintet

Aslan QT1

Miami, March 20, 2013 - Miami Dade College’s (MDC) popular MDC Live Arts series closes its 2012-13 season with Argentina native, Brooklyn-based bassist, bandleader and producer Pablo Aslan and his quintet performing Piazzolla in Brooklyn, at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at The Colony Theatre in Miami Beach.

With Piazzolla in Brooklyn, Aslan pays homage to the great Argentinean composer and bandoneón master Astor Piazzolla. After the master’s death in 1992, Aslan brought an extraordinary focus on tango’s relationship to jazz, and on Piazzolla's ideas about jazz tango. In fact, his latest recording, Piazzolla in Brooklyn, was inspired by Take Me Dancing, a 1959 jazz tango recording by Piazzolla. 

Aslan has been working at the intersection of jazz and tango for the past 20 years. He grew up in Buenos Aires in the 1960’s and 70’s, and later moved to the U.S. to study music at the University of California Santa Cruz, attending Cal Arts and UCLA. He moved to New York City in 1990 and for years he was a regular in milongas (tango dance halls) around the U.S. and performed with Raul Jaurena, Pablo Ziegler and Yo Yo Ma’s Soul of the Tango. Then he began to probe the possibilities of jazz tango. The hard work paid off in recordings such as Avantango (2004), Buenos Aires Tango Standards (2007) and, most notably, Tango Grill (2009) an album that earned GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY nominations. On these recordings, Aslan revisited old and new tangos, including some Piazzolla pieces, with the tools, the approach and sensibility of jazz.

“Pablo Aslan is a master at fusing the languages of jazz and tango, and we are thrilled to present him with this latest project that offers audiences new ways to experience the world and legacy of Astor Piazzolla,” says MDC Live Arts Executive Director Kathryn Garcia.

Piazzolla drew from many sources for what came to be known as his New Tango -- from traditional tango and Bartok, to klezmer music, Stravinsky and Bach. But he had a special fascination with jazz. After all, Piazzolla spent most of his childhood in New York City --- which included experiences such as listening to Cab Calloway through a window outside a club in Harlem, too young to be let in -- and jazz was an essential sound of the city.

“There is a before and after Piazzolla in tango,” says music critic Fernando González. “And to understand how rooted in tango his music is, and what a challenge to the tradition it represented, there is nothing better than to hear it in context.” 

As part of MDC Live Arts’ core commitment to create meaningful educational experiences, two classes will be offered for MDC students, geared towards providing a musical and historical framework to this fusion of jazz and tango. In the first class, Fernando González, who was nominated for a GRAMMY for his notes on Piazzolla in Brooklyn, leads a multimedia, curated listening session that will explore the music of Piazzolla within the history and evolution of tango. The second class is a live music clinic led by Pablo Aslan for NWSA music students that traces the innovations and techniques that popularized tango and jazz in the Americas. Both events offer students a unique opportunity to draw connections across cultures, nations, generations, and genres.

Miami Dade College (MDC) is proud to be the home of MDC Live Arts –an initiative of MDC’s Cultural Affairs Department created in 1990 as Cultural del Lobo. MDC Live Arts has a celebrated history of bringing exceptional national and international performing artists to the region. Annually, it produces a diverse series of stellar performances, presenting today’s most exciting artists while creating meaningful encounters between these artists, the students of MDC, and the community through workshops and residency activities. It seeks artists from around the globe representing a diverse range of voices and forms, which push boundaries and  honor traditions relevant to this multi-cultural, multi-lingual community.

Tickets are $25 for the general public and $10 for MDC students with valid identification.

MDC Live Arts Presents Pablo Aslan Quintet

  • WHEN: Saturday, Apr. 20, 8:00 PM - 10:30 PM
  • WHERE: The Colony Theatre 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach

To purchase tickets, and more information about the 2012-13 MDC Live Arts season, please call 305-237-3010, or visit www.mdclivearts.org.    

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359, khill1@mdc.edu, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366, rromero3@mdc.edu, media specialist




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