Plácido Simoni Alfaro

Real name: Simoni, Plácido Martín Sixto
Nicknames: Morocho Martín
Pianist and composer
(2 February 1903 - 25 May 1984)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Roberto Vozza

on of Plácido Martín Simoni and María Alfaro, both Argentines, was baptized in the parish of Nuestra Señora de Balvanera (Our Lady of Balvanera) on March 19, 1903. They lived on 888 Ecuador Street in the city of Buenos Aires.

From a very young age, as pianist, he was among that great number of players and composers that tango gave rise to in the early decades of the twentieth century.

According to information brought by Juan Silbido, he is mentioned as a disciple of Rosendo Mendizábal’s and that he ran a music conservatory located on Córdoba Street in the 5000 block.

As many others, he started playing at barrooms and dancehalls, like when he played with Juan Pedro Castillo at the café A.B.C. in 1920. Later, he joined the Julio de Caro orchestra (1926); later he replaced José Martínez in a trio with the brothers Vicente Fiorentino and Francisco Fiorentino, thereafter Joaquín Mora joined them and they were known as Fiorentino y su Barra Brava (Fiorentino and His Tough Gang). Later and always with these players, the Vicente Fiorentino orchestra was put together, with the addition of some musicians to enhance the group.

He played in many other groups and smaller ensembles, appearing on the radio and at other venues, but Fate chose for him other goals such as settling in Villa Dolores, province of Córdoba, for five years.

He made a short comeback to Buenos Aires, alternating the Federal Capital with Hurlingham, but he headed toward another destination in 1960; the chosen one was the province of Santiago del Estero, in which capital he was based for almost a quarter of a century until the last hour of his days.

In the «Madre de Ciudades» (Mother of Cities) he displayed his artistry and experience which earned him recognition as musician, while he got many friends due to his gifts for sociability and pleasantness.

Simoni Alfaro here was known as El Morocho Martín, which was his current and daily sobriquet and he showed the people in Santiago his musical skills, not only in tango but also in other genres.

He began by joining the orchestra led by the singer Américo Navarro. Time later he put together a sextet with the bandoneon players Fidel Lucero and Raúl Giménez, the violinist Juan de Dios Gallo and Luis Saganías on double bass. Amalia García was the female singer.

The group was successful appearing on numerous occasions at salons, dancehalls and some more secluded circles.

He was a virtual staff pianist, also, of the now disappeared Radio del Norte, a radio station where he also rehearsed, and he even played in the neighboring San Miguel de Tucumán with appearances on LV12 Radio Independencia. Besides his show business activity he privately taught piano playing as home tutor.

A fortuitous circumstance in his life, due to the many relationships harvested in Santiago, allowed him to get a modest public post during the times of the Radical government of Benjamín Zavalía, between 1963 and 1966.

In 1962, SADAIC, through its attorney, Dr. José Antonio Faro, gave him a gold medal when he reached half a century as member of that entity. El Liberal, newspaper of Santiago del Estero, published a note mentioning that event.

Age and his weakening health forced him to quit show business.