Oscar Zucchi

andoneon player, band leader and composer of the tango generation of 1910, he carried out an interesting work in several of the best groups of the period with a style rooted in the Decarean school, either as instrumentalist and leader or as in the way he conceived his works as composer.

As for this latter aspect, he wrote several instrumental numbers of refined conception, co-writing some of them with another musician of similar sensitivity: Alberto Celenza, violinist, bandoneonist and bass player at different stages of his career.

Towards 1919 he joined a sextet that was led by the exquisite violinist Agesilao Ferrazzano and appeared at the Cabaret Maxim’s on Suipacha between Corrientes and Lavalle. In it he teamed up with another remarkable bandoneon player of the period, Enrique Pollet, known as El Francesito, composer of “Farolito de mi barrio”. On violins were the leader and Emilio Ferrer, as second fiddle, and Roberto Goyheneche on piano.

This group also included Hugo Ricardo Baralis on double bass and they played at the Tigre Hotel, in the locality of Tigre and at the Hotel Carapachay in Olivos, both in the province of Buenos Aires. In 1923 he was at the Café ABC on Córdoba Avenue and Canning with one of the early groups put together by the virtuoso violinist Elvino Vardaro which included Antonio Romano and José Precchi —Roberto Pérez Precchi’s uncle— on bandoneons, Elvino Vardaro and Alberto Celenza on violins and Fioro Capolilupo on piano.

In 1923 Juan Maglio recorded his tango “Mate amargo [b]” for the Nacional label. In 1924 he returned to the ranks of Agesilao Ferrazzano with another sextet which appeared at the Abdullah Club at the basement of the Galería Güemes with this personnel: Ciriaco Ortiz, Antonio Romano (bandoneons); A. Ferrazzano and Fernando Franco (violins); Eduardo Pereyra (piano) and Olindo Sinibaldi (string bass).

By that time he began to appear in the recordings of the primeval sextet fronted by Julio De Caro for the Victor label. So he shared the bandoneon section with Luis Petrucelli, Pedro Maffia, Enrique Pollet, Pedro Laurenz and Armando Blasco. As testimony of his tenure in this historical aggregation there is an anthological acoustic recording of his piece, composed in collaboration with Alberto Celenza, “Populacho”, recorded on May 20, 1926. This number, originally an instrumental, later bore lyrics by Carlos Bahr and changed its title for “No me extraña”.

De Caro also recorded his “La otra noche” in 1925 and, in 1928, “Un silencio” also co-written with Celenza.

In 1925 Juan Maglio recorded his tango “Moñitos” for the Nacional label. In 1926, according to Horacio Ferrer in his “Libro del tango” he may have passed through the Juan D'Arienzo’s ranks.

Maybe it happened later. Let us remember that in 1928 this orchestra leader with Carlos Dante on vocals recorded Romano’s tango “La otra noche” for Electra discs.

In 1927 he appeared on LR10 Radio Cultura with his own orchestra and the refrain singer Santiago Devin who then made his debut.

For public appearances, Romano teamed up with Alberto Celenza —then violinist— as the Romano-Celenza orchestra which included on bandoneons: Romano and Francisco Diodati, as second player, Salas on piano and on violins: Celenza and José De Grandis (author of the lyrics of the well-known tango “Amurado”, among others). With them he played at the Café El Parque, on Lavalle and Talcahuano. Thereafter Celenza became a bandoneon player.

Later he traveled to Europe to appear with the orchestra that Lucio Demare led in his appearances with the singers Agustín Irusta and Roberto Fugazot, teaming as a vocal duo.

At the beginning, among its members, besides the leader on piano, there were, on violins: Jesús Fernández (Spaniard) and the Cuban Víctor Hugo and on bandoneons: Héctor Artola and Pedro Polito.

In 1929 the group had important changes in personnel: piano, leadership and arrangements: Lucio Demare; violins: Sam Resnik and Bernardo Stalman; bandoneons: Alberto Celenza, Antonio Romano and Lucas Demare; drums: Romoaldo Lomoro.

Thereafter they appeared in Cuba in 1930 and when they returned to Europe, for a time Romano joined the Manuel Pizarro orchestra in which he played at different times in the bandoneon section with figures like Joaquín Mora, Pedro Polito, Héctor Artola and Miguel Bonano.

On his comeback to our country, in 1940, he traveled to the República Oriental del Uruguay and settled in Montevideo. He joined the Uruguayan orchestra of the violinist Roberto Luratti and he also led his own aggregation. He passed away in the Uruguayan Capital on March 9, 1966.

Excerpted from the book: El tango, el bandoneón y sus intérpretes, Volume III, Editorial Corregidor, Buenos Aires, 2007.