Nuevo Tango – Piazzolla Style!

By Sammy Moynihan

An Eclectic Tango Treat

Canberrans are in for an eclectic Tango treat in March, as Latin Grammy winning Quinteto Astor Piazzolla hits The Street Theatre as part of their first Australian tour. Throughout their long career, the collective are recognised worldwide as pioneers and custodians of the distinctive Nuevo Tango style. This ambitious style was created by virtuoso composer Astor Piazzolla. Through the incomparable talent of this group, his legacy lives on, inviting both dedicated fans, and fresh faces, to experience the passion and fire of this sizzling style of tango.

For Dario Vaccarro, the quintet’s producer, Nuevo Tango is deeply linked to Piazzolla’s own exposure to different styles of music growing up as an Argentinian living in Jewish and Italian communities in New York. 

“His music is a mix of jazz, traditional tango, and classical music,” Dario says. “That’s what makes the music so special.”

Photography by Mauricio Velez

Piazzolla’s commitment to innovating and diversifying Tango often put him at odds with his peers. While he achieved great success internationally, Argentinian audiences were harder to crack.

“The traditional tango people wanted to kill Piazzolla because he put an electric guitar into Tango!” Dario jokes. “But when you listen to his music, you can feel all this tension that was around it. You can feel all this passion, this melancholy, this fire and energy. All the life experience he went through is reflected in his music. That’s what makes it magical.” 

Despite this adversity, Nuevo Tango soon became recognisable in clubs around the world and brought more international audiences into its world.

Like a good wine

Piazzolla wrote music for many ensembles but the quintet was always his favourite. As Dario says, “The quintet synthesises all the elements that make up this style.”

The performers we’ll see at The Street are a mix between original members and fresh faces who joined the ensemble in later years.

“The musicians are all virtuoso and they are all the best in the Piazzolla world. We’re like a good wine. All the perfect elements have come together.”

After achieving critical success in Europe, Asia, and America, this is their first time visiting Australia. Dario is particularly excited because he knows from Spotify and social media that they have a huge following here. He can’t wait to grow new audiences.

Quinteto Astor Piazzolla L to R: Armando de la Vega (guitar) Bárbara Varassi Peg (piano) Pablo Mainetti(bandoneón) Daniel Falasca (bass) Serdar Geldymuradov (violin)

“Our newest album will actually be released in the middle of the tour, so our Australian audiences will get to hear beautiful music that is not as known by a general audience. They’ll hear the classics and they’ll also hear some new unique aspects of Piazzolla.”

With a mix of fresh sounds and classic pieces, Dario promises an exciting evening for Tango and Piazzolla fans, new and old. 

“Our mission is to bring Piazzolla’s legacy to the world. He is always present in everything we do. It’s not about us. It’s about the master and his music.”

Quinteto Astor Piazzolla hits The Street Theatre on Wednesday, 15 March at 7:30pm. Tickets range from $49 – $59 and are available via

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