Off the page: Austin Piazzolla Quintet
The Austin Piazzolla Quintet, which plays Gig Performance Space (1808 Second St.) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 15, honors the music of Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. The eight-year-old band’s passionate, focused performances present innovative arrangements of Piazzolla songs as well as original works, and improvisation is part of the mix. The group, known in short as the APQ, has also been active in education, teaching about the history of tango and its techniques. “The most difficult aspect of this music, after its technical challenges, is that so little of it is actually on the page,” said group founder and violinist James Anderson. “Much like jazz, if you only play what’s on the page, it lacks the passion, personal emotion, and sense of freedom which it absolutely needs.” The group’s other members are Jonathan Geer, piano; Pat Harris, bass; Mike Maddux, accordion and bandoneón; and Tony Rogers, cello. Admission is $20 at the door; Gig advises that this is “a listening event, not a dance event.” See www.gig santafe.com for more information. — P.W.