Julio Botti’s Sax to Tango Latin Grammy Nominee 2016

Sax to Tango: new album by  Julio Botti

A few opening lines taken from BOTTI’s website. Then my  humble appreciation of the big picture of Tango.


Release Date: June 3, 2016.

ZOHO Music is honored and proud to showcase Sax To Tango, the second CD collaboration between Argentine born, but New York domiciled saxophonist JULIO BOTTI and his celebrated mentor and colleague, Nuevo Tango pianist, arranger and composer PABLO ZIEGLER.

Their first collaboration “TANGO  NOSTALGIAS” (ZOHO 2012) featured two Classic Quintet settings, recorded in Buenos Aires and New York, respectively, with an occasional String Quartet accompaniment.

It achieved a Latin Grammy nomination in the “Best Tango Album” category in 2013.

Their new project, SAX TO TANGO (2016)  is far more ambitious in the scope of its arrangements and orchestration. It features The University of Southern Denmark Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Argentine conductor SAUL ZACKS  in a selection of nine iconic ASTOR PIAZZOLLA’s  Nuevo Tango gems, one Tango standard, and three compositions by PABLO ZIEGLER.

The recording sessions for this album were scheduled in connection with a live concert of this material on June 9 and 10, 2015 in DENMARK.

You can hear a preview of the album Sax to Tango here…


In my radio shows here in VERMONT,  I have played both albums, and pretty soon  will begin designing a FULL-LENGTH TANGO RADIO SHOW @ WWPV 92.5 FM “The Mike” (Sundays 12 – 3 p.m.)  For streaming : http://www.wwpv.org

Congratulations to PABLO ZIEGLER  for all his efforts in promoting and preserving the great music of his mentor PIAZZOLLA and also for giving the TANGO a new soloist through the saxophones of JULIO BOTTI.

Although the saxophone has never been considered a traditional TANGO INSTRUMENT we can never forget  the sound of GATO BARBIERI – a sound that revolutionized the JAZZ frontiers with more LATIN AMERICAN ingredients.

And others like ANDRES BOAIRSKI (Argentine born, New York domiciled  / Down Beat Magazine contributor and Musical Director of Slide Hampton Ensembles, for just mentioning a few of his many moods).

I met BOIARSKY in person in 2007, while living in New Jersey. Avid of  music in the Big Apple, went to a New York Wednesday Night,  where there was a variety of sounds with Free Shows and found a Tango Orchestra led by Argentine bassist and record producer PABLO ASLAN displaying  a kind of TANGO REVUE along the banks of the Hudson River.  It was a multi-national ORCHESTRA featuring acclaimed Jazz trumpeter JIM SEELEY, BOIARSKY, ASLAN   and a bandeonist from Valencia, Spain. Also good Tango Dancers.


Some non-Argentinians or non-Uruguayans like Cuban-American reedman PAQUITO D’RIVERA with his FUNK TANGO QUINTET have stretched the boundaries of TANGOS, MILONGAS, CHACARERAS, MURGAS,  WALTZES, VIDALAS, CANDOMBES and other elegant  SOUNDS of South America.

The discography of D’RIVERA is unique and there’s always a good TANGO in the mix. THE FUNK TANGO QUINTET is a Grammy Winner band and album. Check their version of LA YUMBA – CARAVAN  fusing the likes of Argentine Alberto Ginastera and Puerto Rican Juan Tizol.


I’m glad that BOTTI had followed the advices of ZIEGLER when the legendary pianist and academician suggested him to play TANGO NOT JAZZ IN NEW YORK where he would find many fiery competitors.

There is a lot of TANGO SOUNDS and DANCERS in the US – saxophonists, guitarists, bandoneonists,  pianists, singers and specially dancers who bring an enthusiastic vibe to this energetic,  impassioned, poetic, unequal Art form.

You may also find bandleaders like Uruguayan bandeononist RAUL JAURENA – one of the finest exponents of the genre, Artistic Director of The Queens Theater in NYC with albums like TE AMO TANGO = I LOVE YOU TANGO (Soundbrush, 2006). A gorgeous album with a brilliant collection – from the very traditional to today’s modern renditions and originals.

In VERMONT,  there’s also a  lot of TANGO, specially in STOWE, where I discovered guitarist FRANCISCO “PANCHO”NAVARRO in a well-organized party with lecturers, dancers and refined gusto. Check PANCHO’s debut album TQPS (Te quiero por siempre = I love you forever / Soundbrush Records) dedicated to his wife and bringing new life to a WATERCOLOR OF SOUTH AMERICAN MUSIC, covering a variety of styles coming from his beloved Argentina, to Brasil, Venezuela and Paraguay.

Last but not least, German born violinist GREGOR HUEBNER has given NY and the world two Volumes of EL VIOLIN LATINO (Peregrina Music) offering a collage of music coming from Cuba, Uruguay, Brasil and Argentina, including soloists either genre.


In CUBA, Bolero singers, Conjuntos  and Charanga Orchestras converted Tangos like “Nieblas del riachuelo”  into Boleros and Boleros Cha. Another example is NOSTALGIA in the voice of ELENA BURKE, “Tus ojos se cerraron” Sublime Orchestra w lead singer Marcos Perdomo pleased larger dancing crowds  nationwide.

First, Pacho Alonso, years after Oscar D’Leon fedback  “NIEBLAS DEL RIACHUELO” – a standard penned by Cobiam & Cadicamo that expresses a foggy and mysterious Buenos Aires creek. I did enjoyed it again by BOTTI w ZIEGLER and The Danish Symphony conducted by SAUL ZAKS.

Sax to Tango has a very special guest, another Argentine virtuoso, drummer-percussionist FRANCO PINNA.


SAX TO TANGO became possible through a collaboration of BOTTI and ZIEGLER with SAUL ZAKS, the Argentine classical music conductor of THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN DENMARK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.

ZAKS helped make  this new  path of NUEVO TANGO possible with his generous support and understanding of this style of music from BUENOS AIRES.

Check more about  these TANGO  masters and warriors thru

http://www.pabloziegler.com     http://www.juliobotti.com 

http://www.ziegleracademy.com    http://www.zohomusic.com

Toni Basanta

DJ Host of The Cuban Bridge on the radio and on television

http://www.wwpv.org   http://www.mmctv15.org   http://www.vimeo.com/mmctv



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