Dante Smurra

Real name: Smurra, Dante
Pianist and composer
(26 February 1915 - n/d)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Jorge Palacio (Faruk)

e began to study music and piano playing with maestro Colacelli and later he furthered his studies in harmony and counterpoint with Gilardo Gilardi.

He started as professional in the orchestra fronted by Mario Azzerboni, who then used to appear on LR3 Radio Belgrano in a morning program at 8:30 am. This took placed in 1936.

He also appeared, like so many music groups, at the famous Café Nacional, this time as member of the ensemble led by Oscar de la Fuente and soon he decided to play with his own sextet to appear at the balls organized by the Yath tearoom, in the neighborhood of Pocitos in Montevideo.

On his comeback to our country he split with that group and again joined Azzerboni. One day Héctor Varela, then lead bandoneon player with Ricardo Malerba, turned up on the above radio station. Both musicians had heard him and wanted Smurra to play piano with them. And so it happened. Dante adjusted himself to the group immediately, and also to Malerba, since he became attached to the latter’s family and married the sister of Malerba’s wife.

He enjoyed a good period with a busy schedule in Buenos Aires and tours of the provinces and countries of South America. When in 1938 Rodolfo Biagi split with the ranks of Juan D'Arienzo, the latter wanted him as substitute for Manos Brujas (Wizard Hands), but he did not accept due to familiarity reasons.

When some time later Malerba disbanded his orchestra, Dante switched to the staff orchestra of Radio Belgrano and, later, to the ones of Radio Mitre and Radio Porteña. With them he backed all the singers that appeared on the above radio stations.

In the 60’s he was the musical background for the singer Enrique Campos. Years later, he and the bandoneonist Oscar Castagniaro formed a group to accompany the singers that appeared at the tango venue called La Casa de Carlos Gardel. In Punta del Este he was on tour with the singer Enrique Dumas. He stayed for a long time in Montevideo and also in Brazil, between 1950 and 1960.

Some of the pieces he composed were “Embrujamiento”, “La piba de los jazmines”, “Violín”, all of them recorded by Malerba with Orlando Medina on vocals, between 1943 and 1944.

Also, among others, “Buenos Aires del cuarenta” belongs to him and was committed to record by the singer Carlos Cristal.