José Appendino

Real name: Appendino, José Aníbal
(28 September 1922 - 15 November 2010)
Place of birth:
Campana (Buenos Aires) Argentina
José Eduardo Bolzán

ontesquieu said: «Talent is a gift that God gives us secretly, and we reveal it unknowingly». Usually, the great artists that stood out in their own field, do not understand the true dimension of their oeuvre, because they regard their art as something normal, like a flower among herbs, a dew drop in the morning, the birds singing and all that Nature gives us but, for common people, this belongs to the little great miracles we take advantage of to nurture our spirit, since without this nourishment, Life would be hardly bearable.

Quite close to Campana, in the district of Exaltación de la Cruz, precisely in the Pavón area, in 1922 José Appendino was born, who at an early age answered the call of music with which he would represent us in our country and abroad. He began his music studies at the Academia Lipesker on 340 Pasteur Street, in the city of Buenos Aires.

His professional work began in the orchestra led by Víctor García, in the town of Campana, in which he became friends with other musicians like José Naldo Soto, Alzua, Pissani, Atrip, Aguila, Fornarini, Alberto Ballesteros, and so many others. He later switched to the Francisco Lauro orchestra, in 1941; the following year with Juan Canaro with whom he made a tour of South American countries which was, financially, disastrous but a rewarding experience; with Alberto Mancione in 1944 and with Miguel Caló in 1941.

In the early fifties he traveled to France and was based in that country for four years, playing in the orchestra fronted by José María Lucchesi and with the legendary Manuel Pizarro, with whom he toured several European countries. I had the chance of holding in my hands some programs of that period, for example, one of the Stork Club of Paris which announces «La nuit de l’Amerique Latine» with the performance of María Casares, Dany Dauberson, Helia Ponton, Pepita de Cádiz and Helia Grandon, with the accompaniment by Appendino; another program of 1951 announces the appearance of the orchestra led by the Argentine composer Manuel Pizarro at the cabaret L’Aigion of the Champs Élysées.

Based again in Argentina, José Appendino joined the Osvaldo Fresedo orchestra with which he appeared on radio, television and venues all over the country. In some of the photos that Appendino keeps of his show business career, there is one when he played with Víctor García in Zárate, another with Juan Canaro in Bolivia and with his friend Héctor Grané in Madrid and, facing the mythical Moulin Rouge of Paris, there is also another one with Hugo Del Carril.

Until his latter days, José Appendino lived in the beautiful city of Bariloche, from where he was in contact by phone with maestro José Naldo Soto with whom he kept an unbreakable friendship. But when Soto passed away, he continued in touch with the latter’s wife, Amelia Arona de Soto.

From Campana, the tango fans of the Círculo Amigos del Tango, wish to remember him in gratitude for having devoted his life to keeping the flame of tango alive and just tell him: Thanks, Maestro!

Originally published in La Auténtica Defensa, wednesday 5/12/2004,