Horacio Loriente

life devoted to tango music, nearly always keeping out of the forefront. He belonged to a family that dignified the genre through different instruments. Minotto, that started with a half-tone accordion, later became a virtuoso bandoneon player. Fioravanti chose the piano and Ernesto devoted to bandoneon.

Ernesto Di Cicco, direct reference of these memories, son of José Di Cicco and Clorinda Giovinelli, was born in Montevideo (República Oriental del Uruguay).

Around 1917 he teamed up with Enrique Delfino (piano) and Federico Lafemina (violin) playing bandoneon in a trio that gathered a large numbers of patrons who loved tango at the Café Sport which was located on the prow formed by Bacacay, Buenos Aires and Mitre streets, facing the Teatro Solís.

Years later he was member of the Típica Minotto —between 1921 and 1922—. In it the three brothers performed together. Minotto and Ernesto as bandoneonists and Fioravanti on piano. The latter was later replaced by Francisco De Caro.

It is worthwhile to mention the first lineup of this group. Besides the three brothers above, the players were Eustaquio Laurenz (bandoneon), Julio De Caro, Juan Tróccoli and Horacio Zito (violins). It was the time when the maxixa was in vogue. The orchestra played it very well so that the Victor house made them cut records in Montevideo —in a tall building on Avenida 18 de Julio, a detail always remembered by Julio De Caro— taking advantage of a traveling equipment of the above company.

When Francisco and Julio De Caro quit —summoned by Juan Carlos Cobián from Buenos Aires— and Minotto Di Cicco did the same to join the ranks of the Francisco Canaro orchestra, Ernesto Di Cicco, keeping on the billboard the name Típica Minotto, formed a quintet with Pascual Cardarópoli (piano), Juan José Castellanos, Juan Tróccoli (violins) and Antonio Miranda (drums). On several occasions Marcos Olmedo, Ernesto Maurnini and Miguel A. Ossi also played in this aggregation.

Following the steps of his brothers, Ernesto continued his show business career in Buenos Aires, hired by Francisco Canaro. There were temporary absences on leave from the famous orchestra. For the carnival balls at the Armenonville in 1928 he was in the large cast put together by Minotto. One year later we found him in the recordings of the so-called Trío de Bandoneones Pacho, alongside Gabriel Clausi and Federico Scorticati. He was also figure in the excellent Minotto’s aggregation that recorded for Columbia in 1931/32.

But, in general, Ernesto always appeared with Canaro. About that we highlight an extraordinary list of musicians that performed at the Concurso del Disco Nacional in 1928, held at the salon of the Palace Theatre of Buenos Aires. Luis Riccardi (piano), Ángel Ramos, Ernesto Di Cicco, Héctor Moggio and Ernesto Bianchi (bandoneons), Cayetano Puglisi, Mario Brugni, Domingo Petillo and Eduardo Ponzio (violins), Olindo Sinibaldi (double bass) and the singer Charlo.

His first published tango was “Mi jaula de oro”, in collaboration with Héctor Ruiz Díaz. His compositions are around thirty pieces. The best known was, undoubtedly, “En el viejo café”, with lyrics by José María Contursi, in 1942. There are others, less known, among them: “Eterno amor”, co-written with Mario Brugni, stands out and we think it is the best of them all.

His honorableness, that rectitude of behavior that marked his life, made him become Canaro’s secretary and his trustworthy man.

Ernesto Di Cicco passed away in his hometown. His oeuvre lives on, in part filed in the register of the Society of Authors of France and it is good that the history of tango houses him alongside all its most distinguished members.