Jesús Ventura

Real name: Ventura Laguna, Jesús
Composer, musicologist and leader
(1882 - 28 August 1974)
Place of birth:
Zaragoza Spain

e was born in Zaragoza (Spain) and lived for many years in Argentina composing music for theatrical plays. In 1930 he moved to Colombia where he lived until his death.

He composed mainly zarzuelas and in Colombia he was an important educator and teacher.

Thanks to maestro Carlos Di Sarli who brought his tango “A la gran muñeca”, composed 25 years before, to the limelight the number achieved the category of a classic.
The lyrics belong to the journalist and script writer Miguel Osés and had been especially conceived for the theater play with the tango of the same name.
That play was premiered by the Muiño-Alippi company at the disappeared Teatro Buenos Aires on the old Cangallo Street —where today crosses the Nueve de Julio Avenue— for which Ventura composed all its music.

According to Francisco García Jiménez: «It was the time of the stage revue in Buenos Aires that sometimes stood out with some sceneries and some lighting, exceptional then. By the second decade of the twentieth century and at the Teatro Buenos Aires the disciplined company headed by Muiño and Alippi alternated sainetes (one-act farces) and revues. The staff orchestra was conducted by maestro Jesús Ventura who belonged to that legion of Spanish musicians that by the turn of the century brought a quite worthy contribution to the zarzuela criolla».

And he added later: «It was still in the air of the above mentioned theatre the success achieved there by Manolita Poli by singing the tango “Mi noche triste (Lita)” at the sainete Los dientes del perro. And it was mandatory that for the actress-singer Osés and Ventura composed a tango and looked for a suitable stage situation».

Our friend José María Otero told us that don Jesús used to teach music in Madrid on the San Luis street, a previous name of the Gran Vía.

What it is curious is that both Ventura and Osés had reunited for the creation of a number that meant for them both their only tango and that this is one of the most emblematic ones of the genre.