A tanda with Martin Alvarado

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Flores neighbourhood, Buenos Airies (with a four-year break in Mar del Plata, from 1982 till 1986).

How did tango find you?
Even though tango sounded every day in my home and the family car, I was not really very keen on it until I was already a musician. The click happened when I saw tango legend Ruben Juarez (one of the best singers of all time and also a great bandoneon player) on TV. There was a new beginning in my career after that.

What do you like to do when you are NOT singing?
Spending time with my family and friends, good food, enjoying nature, reading a good book.

What are your aspirations for the future?
Well… I have so many projects at this moment. I have three recording projects that I would like to complete in the near future.  Looking in the longer term, I hope to be able to perform in parts of the world I have not yet visited including the USA, Australia and the Far East. But mostly I just wish to keep enjoying every minute of my life as I am doing now.

Who or what inspires you?
Life itself. A beautiful landscape, beautiful people, a good song and so many other things that I simply could not enumerate.
About the music
What genre within the Tango realm touches your heart more than the others?
Tango Canción. To me the relevance of the poetry in Tango is essential. So a good melody with a good poem is a perfect deal.

If you could sing one last song what would it be?
Probably “Milonga del Trovador” by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer.

What are your favourite accompanying instruments?
I love to have different accompaniments. At this moment I have the pleasure to work with the best guitar tango group you could ever find: Horacio Avilano quintet, and they are the most perfect accompaniment for my style of singing. But I also enjoy very much singing with a symphony orchestra, as I did in Finland many times, and with a modern tango quintet such as Quinteto Otra Vez, or with my talented piano/bandoneon musical partners Mikko Helenius and Claudio Constantini with whom I am touring quite often now in Europe. I also enjoy singing alone with my guitar.
About performing
What’s in your head before you go on to perform?
Nothing specially. Performing is as easy as breathing for me so I just get ready to enjoy what I love doing the best.

Which performance do you feel was your best or most significant so far?
Every single concert means the world to me. I sing with the same passion for 10 as for 1000 people, at a huge theatre or a café concert. But, if having to choose, I would probably mark having sung at the Shostakovich Philharmonic Hall in St Petersburg, Russia, or having done the “Concierto del Nuevo Tango” with Maestro Patrick Gallois, Quinteto Otra Vez and different symphony orchestras in many cities in Finland, or having sung at the “Aleksanterin Teatteri” or “Musiikkitalo” in Helsinki.

People compare you to Carlos Gardel. What do you think?
It is a huge honour to be compared with the mentor of this all. I admire him a lot as a singer and songwriter but my style has just a little to do with his. I am happy to have developed my own sound and I think that is why some people called me “The Gardel of the 21st century”. It is the best of compliments and, also, an immense responsibility.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone learning to sing traditional tango what would it be?
Be creative. Learn from all the good ones but try to develop your own style. Easy to say but very hard to achieve.

What is the greatest challenge to being a tango vocalist?
The melodies are usually made for very skilful singers. Then the texts are so rich that you must really get into it in order to touch the audiences’ hearts. As Ruben Juarez once told me: “Boy, it is easy or impossible.”

How do you like touring in the UK? Are we a good audience?
I love touring in the UK. I have a fantastic manager with whom l am very good friends, so it is a lot of fun travelling up and down the beautiful landscapes in the Kingdom. The audiences are awesome! Very responsive and kind. That’s why I am coming even three times a year!

Story posted by: Rita Maree Horne

About the author: Social Dancer, Writer from Edinburgh

Published: 11 Apr 2014 @ 07:58

Last modified: 12 Mar 2021 @ 20:55

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A tanda with Martin Alvarado
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