Learning about tango music will make your dancing much much better. Every month we pick a tango orchestra, listen to it in class, translate songs, recommend CDs… You will become a tango mogul in no time!
October / November orchestra is Edgardo Donato’s; here’s a short bio about this wonderful tango artist.
Violin player, orchestra leader, composer (1897 – 1963)
Donato was born in an Italian family in Buenos Aires in 1867. He moved to Montevideo, Uruguay as a child where he first studied music with his father and then at the conservatory.
As he turned 21, his first step as a professional musician was in opera but he moved on to jazz in 1919. In 1922, he composed his first hit, the tango “Julian”. He later composed what would become one of the most well-known tangos in the world, the cheeky A media Luz. Over the course of his career, Donato composed over 200 songs, some of which are now classics in all milongas: Muchacho, El huracán, Pensalo bien.
In 1927, he set up his first tango orchestra under the name Donato-Zerrillo, together with his brothers at the piano and the cello. The orchestra made its debut in Montevideo the same year and stayed together until 1930.
After the orchestra disbanded, Donato set up another orchestra, this time under his name. Together, they recorded over 130 songs for the Brunswick label, before switching to Victor, with which they released 400 records. His orchestra regularly performed on radio, at cabarets and clubs.
Donato’s music is perfect for dancing: rhythmic, playful and melodic at the same time. He is well known for having female vocalists, including the Chilean vedette Lucy Clory, Azucena Maizani, which gives his orchestra a distinctive sound. Donato frequently stepped in as a soloist singer too.