Eduardo Arolas

Real name: Arola, Lorenzo
Nicknames: El Tigre del bandoneón
Bandoneonist, composer and leader
(24 February 1892 - 29 September 1924)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Orlando del Greco

ndoubtedly, he was the best tango composer despite his short career in the genre; a little bit more than fifty years. He was a genius, who brought all his feeling and all his talent in his creations.

We may find some tango of another composer which is of a better quality than his in an isolated piece, but as a whole his oeuvre is wonderful, unsurpassable.
In his hometown, when he was a kid, he began playing guitar in cheap cafes and other speakeasies but soon thereafter, along with Rafael Iriarte, he traveled across the towns of the province of Buenos Aires. By that time he was studying bandoneon playing.

Quite soon he reached the highest level among the players of that fantastic instrument and he began, like everybody, with small groups at neighborhood parties to later switch to a group that appeared at a café in La Boca, later at La Buseca in Avellaneda and so many others such as the Botafogo, El Estribo, La Marina, Iglesias, El Popular, Garufa, and the cabarets: L'Abbaye, Armenonville, Montmartre, Royal Pigall's, Tabarin, etc. He also appeared in Montevideo.

At those venues he appeared with orchestras of his own or in those led by Roberto Firpo. Precisely, as he was member of the latter, he joined the Firpo-Canaro giant orchestra when both were merged to play at the carnival balls of the Colón Theater of Rosario in 1917 and 1918. On the giant wall poster of that ensemble with the photographs of its players, we can see him in the center in a prominent place, which evidences his real value, even though it included great maestros.

When tango was in vogue in Paris, he went there to appear in cabarets and other venues for a short time until he died. The Argentine community of the City of Light mourned his deathlo and, nearly all, went to his funeral which can be seen in the photo taken at the time his remains were removed from the hospital where he died.

By 1909 he released his tango, “Una noche de garufa”, which which he showed from the start his big talent and it was forerunner of others who made unforgettable his name. “Derecho viejo”, “La guitarrita”, “Lágrimas”, “La cachila”, “Catamarca” “Maipo”, “Retintín”, “Rawson”, “El Marne”, “La trilla”, “Lelia”, “Suipacha”, “Papas calientes”, “Fuegos artificiales” (co-written with Roberto Firpo) and also “Alice”, “Dinamita”, “Araca”, “Anatomía”, “Tupungato”, “Rocca”, “Pobre gaucho”, “La cabrera”, “Cardos”, “Nariz”, “Bien tirao”, “Bataraz”, “Guachito”, “El rey de los bordoneos”, “Taba calzada”, “Moñito (Marrón Glacé)”, “Viborita” which was the last he composed; the waltz “Notas del corazón”, etc.

We have to clear out that the first one he released was “Una noche de garufa” but his first-born composition, 1907-08, was co-written with the above Iriarte and was entitled “Comme il faut”, while his partner called it “Comparsa criolla”; then the same tango was published under different titles many years later.

From the beginning he was connnected to the Gardel-Razzano duo, and when the latter made their debut at the Armenonville, he was member of the tango trio fronted by Roberto Firpo which played on the radiant evenings of that famous cabaret. It was 1913, year of the success of the singers and his friendship with them.

Because of that friendship, years later, he dedicated the song “Era linda mi gauchita” to the duo, which they sang many times, and Gardel recorded his tango “Qué querés con esa cara (La guitarrita)”, both with lyrics by Pascual Contursi.

He cut records with his music groups and with him outstanding instrumentalists like Tito Rocattagliata, Rafael Tuegols, Julio De Caro, José María Rizzuti, Luis Riccardi, Leopoldo Thompson, Pascual Clausi, Nicolás Verona, José López Ares, Harold Phillips, Juan Carlos Cobián, Manuel Pizarro, Juan Marini, Genaro Espósito, Ernesto Zambonini, Enrique Delfino, etc. appeared with him.

Due to his great skills he was called El Tigre del Bandoneón and he is one of the pillars on which tango is based despite he died many years ago.

Arolas was born in Buenos Aires (Barracas ) on February 24, 1892 and passed away in Paris (France) on September 29, 1924.