Tango Tour de Force

The Star (St. Lucia) - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Cat Foster

Pro­fes­sional. Pol­ished. Pitch-per­fect. Punc­tual. Last Satur­day the Saint Lu­cia School of Mu­sic (SLSM) de­lighted pa­trons with a top class con­cert of Ar­gen­tine Tango mu­sic. All artists were im­pres­sive but the stars were un­doubt­edly Lorena Guillen on vo­cals and her hus­band, Ale­jan­dro Rutty on bass gui­tar and on the new Bech­stein grand pi­ano.

Lorena Guillen is pe­tite and pretty with an amaz­ingly pow­er­ful voice that ex­pressed ev­ery pas­sion of the mu­sic, from the despair of be­ing jilted to the joy of a child’s kite danc­ing in the wind. Imag­ine a Latin Edith Piaf but bet­ter! She and Rutty guided the appe­cia­tive au­di­ence through an en­sem­ble of tra­di­tional Ar­gen­tine Tango mu­sic: its hum­ble begin­nings in the 1910s in Buenos Aires, its evo­lu­tion over the decades, the in­jec­tion of young, new blood in the ‘70s. Each piece was in­ter­spersed with in­sights into the com­posers, many of them women, and the mean­ing of the lyrics. Rutty’s skill as a com­poser and ar­ranger were demon­strated with the in­clu­sion of two of his own pieces from “The Other Part of my Heart”.

An open­ing sur­prise was six year old David Melville per­form­ing “Lit­tle Sonata” and the Os­car Peter­son “Jazz Etude”on the pi­ano. He de­served the rap­tur­ous ap­plause. Ac­cla­ma­tion was also earned by the SLSM di­rec­tor, Richard Payne on pi­ano plus other fac­ulty heads and teach­ers: Marie Me­d­ina on vi­o­lin, Wag­ner Trindade on gui­tar, Fer­nando Martinez Lopez on per­cus­sion, Lukas Hein on sax­o­phone and An­dreya Nicholson, voice. All was deftly com­pered by the ar­tic­u­late Gene Lawrence.

This ben­e­fit con­cert was the first per­for­mance in the SLSM’s new con­cert hall at the Golden Palm Event Cen­tre in the Al­fiona Plaza be­hind Rod­ney Heights Su­per J su­per­mar­ket. The premises have been kindly do­nated to the School by Michael Chas­tanet. Sagi­cor is a ma­jor donor and the SLSM is keen to ben­e­fit from the gen­eros­ity of other in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies to main­tain th­ese pres­tige per­for­mances.

For­tu­nately for mu­sic af­fi­ciona­dos, es­pe­cially of the Latin genre, more con­certs are planned for 2015. De­tails will be an­nounced but pa­trons are ad­vised to book early as this con­cert was a re­sound­ing suc­cess and fu­ture events are sure to be sold out.

Lorena Guillen thrilled her

au­di­ence at a St. Lu­cia School of Mu­sic event last

week­end.

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