Néstor Pinsón

e was born in Rosario, province of Santa Fe. A little bit more than fifty years had to pass so that he would decide to be no longer just «a boy in the orchestra» as a member in the bandoneon section. On several occasions he said he was a man with a low profile, maybe he was ideal to be summoned by bandleaders to increase the number of players in recordings or, like nowadays, to be the conductor of the Orquesta Escuela Emilio Balcarce, or director of the Orquesta de la Municipalidad de Lomas de Zamora (a city near the city of Buenos Aires).

What else would the boys ask than having him as teacher? But this tango man did not start with his aim directed to the fueye but to the trumpet and, his ears focused on jazz. Fortunately, near him there was an uncle who played bandoneon and played in orchestras of Rosario, Héctor Chera, brother of his father Luis (band leader), who not only encouraged him but also taught him to play the instrument and trained him.

With little experience he went to Buenos Aires when he was only fourteen and, at the Picadilly, that venue located at the basement on Corrientes Street near Paraná, he managed to join a small aggregation known as Los Serrano headed by a guy named Eduardo Serrano who fired him soon thereafter.

Later, for several months, he went to study with Eladio Blanco, a musician of the Juan D'Arienzo orchestra. Now, with better tools, he came back to the Serrano orchestra and played in it for a couple of years. While he was studying he also played in the aggregation fronted by Antonio Arcieri — a Decarean violinist who died soon later, on May 5, 1952— and in the one led by Lorenzo Barbero.

From 1951 to 1954 he was with Miguel Caló. That tenure included a well-remembered tour across Brazilian lands and also recordings. It is worthwhile to mention his presence in several recordings. Among them we can mention “En fa menor” (Roberto Caló) and “El chamuyo” (Francisco Canaro).

Without following a chronological order, it is important to mention his tenure in the orchestras led by Ángel Domínguez, Miguel Nijensohn, Enrique Francini and Joaquín Do Reyes. He was lead bandoneon player for the pianist Juan José Paz when the latter accompanied Elsa Rivas who was then at her peak as female singer; in the same character he joined Atilio Stampone and played in the aggregation that backed up Armando Laborde and Alberto Echagüe at the short time the latter ones were not in the D’Arienzo orchestra.

There were other gigs until the time of his definitive consecration came when in 1958 he joined the ranks of Osvaldo Pugliese to play in the unforgettable bandoneon section along with Osvaldo Ruggiero, Julián Plaza, Ismael Spitalnik and Arturo Penón.

It was a ten-year tenure as player and arranger in which he was completely immersed in the style and the spirit of the maestro. Once he told me that Pugliese insisted on the fact that his players had to try to compose and write their own charts so that the orchestra would not fall into monotony. It was a way which, without losing its peculiar rhythmic sequence, something new could be heard. And so it was. Each one contributed his own and, possibly, that was the reason why don Osvaldo was always updated until the time of his death.

As for this way imposed by Pugliese on his boys about the arrangements, Víctor told me that it gave rise to some small disturbances: «As everybody was allowed to express his opinion, strong arguments took place. Several ones had brought their work but we were unable to hear them because two or three used to say that the one to be played was the chart written by Emilio Balcarce or by Penón, for example, and so the one who had written the one which was not heard was bitterly disappointed. Instead, if my orchestra and I had plenty of work I would like that my players compose and arrange so that they would keep on growing up». And later he added: «Today the orchestras are gone. Those who have been fighting for years are the one led by Leopoldo Federico, the one fronted by Rodolfo Mederos and some other lately. But there are few jobs or they are hired for special events or for tourism. There are no opportunities and dancing, which is the only thing that is now popular, is solved with recorded music».

Coming back to the review of his career we return to 1968. Pugliese was ill and there were other issues. Some of the players began to meet to play as a sextet and, soon thereafter, the definitive withdrawal took place. So the Sexteto Tango was born.

Ruggiero and Lavallén (bandoneons), Emilio Balcarce and Oscar Herrero (violins), Alcides Rossi (double bass), Julián Plaza (piano) —after many years playing bandoneon— and the singer Jorge Maciel.

He was for 19 consecutive years with the sextet until he decided to quit. From that time he played in two aggregations: the Orquesta Municipal del Tango then conducted by Carlos García and Raúl Garello and the Orquesta Color Tango along with Roberto Álvarez (bandoneon), Carlos Piccione and Fernando Rodríguez (violins), Amílcar Tolosa (double bass), Roberto Cicaré (piano) and Juan Carlos Zunini (keyboard).

Later he appeared at the show Forever tango with a group of musicians, singers and dancers which toured throughout the United States and Canada. The orchestra director was Lisandro Adrover and the singer was our friend Alfredo Sáez.

In 2007, and leading his own orchestra, he recorded an album entitled Amanecer ciudadano published by the EPSA label that includes ten pieces, combining classic tangos and his own compositions like: “Amanecer ciudadano”, “Meridional”, “A la sombra del fueye”, “Mistongueando” and “De norte a sur”.

In 2010 he released his second recording entitled Buenosaireando along with Alejandro Bruschini (bandoneon), Pablo Estigarribia (piano), Silvio Acosta (double bass) and Washington Williman (violin). The compact disc includes 12 numbers among which two of his compositions stand out: “Buenosaireando” and “Romance de primavera”.