Laureano Fernández

e was born in the neighborhood of Boedo, one of the most traditional tango quarters, in his home on 1857 Castro Barros Street. His parents are Osvaldo Fernández and Ana María Bertoglio. His father and his uncle Néstor —his father’s brother— are guitarists and around 1959 entered the tango scene by joining the Adolfo Berón’s group. But they do not only play tangos but also other genres and are as well singers and songwriters. Osvaldo and Néstor Fernández are known as Los Hermanos Rivas and with that stage name they have accompanied a large number of singers, among them the Brazilian Altemar Dutra.

At age eight his father and his uncle started him on the instrument. His early influences were Los Indios Tacunau. He emulated them by listening to their records.

His father had told him about Roberto Grela but he still had not heard him. At age ten he watched him for the first time on the television program La Botica del Ángel in which he accompanied Rosita Quiroga. At that time he did not understand his father’s admiration for Grela because the latter only played a simple accompaniment for the old female singer. But later when he listened to Grela’s recordings with Leopoldo Federico he understood the real dimension of this great musician and he became an unconditional admirer of his artistry.

Other guitarists that influenced his musical background were Tito Francia, the members of Tres para el Folklore (Luis Amaya, Bértiz, Homer), the Brazilian duet Los Indios Tabajaras and Oscar Alemán.

In 1993 he cut a CD released to pay homage to Roberto Grela titled Grelísimo, along with Carlos Peralta and Ernesto Villavicencio. In this album two of the numbers, “Grelísimo” (tango) and “Danzarina” (milonga) were written in collaboration by Peralta and Rivas. Also that year he recorded two LP’s backing Argentino Ledesma. In 1994 at the Café Homero he accompanied Rubén Juárez, Ángel Díaz, Jorge Vidal, and many others.

In 1999 he appeared at the La Casona de Fernando, on Pichincha and Garay, playing instrumentals and accompanying tango and bolero singers, among them we can mention Jorge Valdez, Tito Reyes, Hugo Marcel and Virginia Luque.

In 2006 Federico Moya, owner of the Torquato Tasso cultural center, summoned him to appear at that venue along with prestigious instrumentalists in a duo setting. Hence he appeared teaming up with Néstor Marconi, Julio Pane, Leopoldo Federico, Dino Saluzzi, Raúl Garello, Juanjo Domínguez and Luis Salinas.

With Leopoldo Federico he recorded the CD Sentido único which was awarded the Premio Gardel in 2009 and was nominated for the Latin Grammy.

In 2010 at the Tasso he appeared substituting for Ubaldo De Lío, who was ill by that time, at a concert to pay homage to Horacio Salgán, along with Federico, Peresini, Juan Pablo Navarro and the great pianist (maybe it was Salgán’s last appearance before an audience).

Also that year, at a concert that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Leopoldo Federico orchestra held at the Teatro Colón, he played alongside the great bandoneon player bringing back to mind some numbers of the latter’s legendary encounter with Roberto Grela.

In 2013 he released the CD Hugo Rivas with guest artists: Pablo Agri, Leopoldo Federico, Luis Salinas, Julio Pane, Raúl Garello, Ernesto Baffa. His son made his debut by playing as guest on a track. The disc was nominated for the Gardel awards together with a disc by Cacho Castaña and another by Guillermo Fernández.

Along his career, up to the present time, he has recorded 10 albums as soloist and several ones backing up singers like Osvaldo Ribó, Luis Aguilé, Juan Carlos Godoy and Reynaldo Martín, among others.

The group with which he generally appears includes: Diego Kvitko and Alberto Becerra (guitars), Felipe Traine (guitarrón) and Manuel Gómez (double bass).