Marlene sings the Tango
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Just back from international festival, Habana Clásica in Cuba, opera and tango singer, Ann Liebeck, tango maestros Julian Rowlands , Tom Mason (Midnight Tango) and their guest, the great Cuban jazz violin virtuoso, Omar Puente, present an evening of Dietrich, Piaf, Gypsy and Tango songs in a staged recreation of Marlene Dietrich’s visit to Havana, Cuba and the exclusive club Sans Soucis in the 1950’s. Enjoy classic Dietrich and Piaf songs and some gypsy jazz and tango with a Cuban twist. The artists are well known on the Latin Jazz and Tango scene and have appeared in productions all over the UK, in major European opera houses (Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera House) and in the West End. Omar Puente is a regular star performer at Ronnie Scotts and Jazz Café as well as Pizza Express Soho.

The artists present a new show this evening which is immersed in tango, Latin Jazz, Gypsy Jazz and the European dance forms which appear in cabaret, opera and classic Hollywood movies.The explosion of the arts between the two great world wars in Europe is reflected in the international careers of Dietrich and Piaf. Both artistes were immersed initially in the local culture of Berlin and Paris, the cabaret clubs and bal musette, which would be represented in early 20th C film, and then later in Hollywood movies. German film makers were arguably the best in the world in the 1920’s and the Paris jazz scene had its own particular flavour with the gypsy jazz and the brilliant local songwriters and singers who dissolved many of the barriers between low and high culture. Opera and operetta were also touched by many of the same themes, and opera singers were among the earliest film stars .

Our programme today reveals some common themes in musical genres, linked by hypnotic rhythms of tango, gypsy songs and vals, Hollywood glamour and the political turmoil of the 1930’s with the displacement of whole populations all over Europe to great cities as far afield as New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and La Habana. ‘Marlene canta el tango…’ shows us how closely and emotionally the music of Old and New World influenced many composers and songwriters.Piaf and Dietrich both appeared in the night club Sans Souci in Miramar, the most exclusive suburb of Havana in the mid 1950’s. Oh to have been a fly on the wall at this time. We only imagine here something of the atmosphere of their ghosts in the great days of Cabaret, when Havana hosted the world’s superstars. We hope to bring you a tropical flavour this evening with our cocktail of music. Hasta luego!

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Ann Liebeck

Musician, Singer / Songwriter, Social Dancer from London in UK

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