Ricardo García Blaya

e was born in San Fernando, 20 km. north of the Capital, and when he was very young he moved to Campana, a city near Zárate (province of Buenos Aires).

Horacio Ferrer refers to him as: «a violinist of remarkable precision, standard vibrato, polished and unmistakable sound with a prodigious left hand, he has stood out, also, because of a personal way of dividing the musical phrase».

He turned out an important musician due to hard studying on his instrument, even in the peak of his success, he studied more than ever before and, as Jorge Palacio told me, «he became instructor of harmony and composition, diving deeper into the secrets of musical art, with the guidance of the maestro Julián Bautista, polishing on violin playing with Martí Llorca and Maugiamarchi.»

Like Pontier and his great friend, the pianist Héctor Stamponi, his first stint was with the aggregation of the maestro Juan Ehlert.

After his experience in the Miguel Caló orchestra and his definitive consecration in his association with Armando Pontier (Orquesta Francini-Pontier), in 1955 he embarked on a new venture by putting together his own orchestra. It was brief, it lasted less than a year, but it was enough to evidence its quality, relying on the artistry of the pianist Juan José Paz, the bandoneon playing of Julio Ahumada and Alberto Podestá on vocals.

Its first two recordings were “La trilla”, composed by Eduardo Arolas, and “Petit Salón”, by Vicente Demarco with lyrics by Silvio Marinucci, sung by Podestá on November 3, 1955 for RCA-Victor.

Among the hits of his book, we highlight his great creation “Tema otoñal”, his solos on “Inspiración” and “Sensiblero”.

Soon later, he joined the Octeto Buenos Aires, which was a combo of maestros and soloists put together by Astor Piazzolla when he returned from France. It was lined up by Astor and Roberto Pansera on bandoneons, Enrique Francini and Hugo Baralis on violins, José Bragato on violoncello, Aldo Nicolini on double bass, Horacio Malvicino on electric guitar and Atilio Stampone on piano. A real luxury, if we further add the collaborations of Leopoldo Federico later and Elvino Vardaro on some occasions.

He also joined an orchestra with Vardaro, Los Astros del Tango (Tango Stars), put together mainly, to issue a series of long-playing records, to evoke the great tango composers. The arrangements were Argentino Galván’s responsibility.

Another group that he joined was Los Violines de Oro del Tango, which like the previous one, was characterized by a spotlighting of the string section.

He was first violin of the Teatro Colón and appeared for many years in a great number of orchestras of the 60s.

In 1963, together with his former associate Armando Pontier and his old time partners, Domingo Federico, Alberto Podestá and Raúl Berón, he joined «La Orquesta de las Estrellas», under the leadership of Miguel Caló, in which the pianist was Orlando Trípodi.

In 1970 he put together a sextet with promising musicians like the bandoneonist Néstor Marconi, also responsible for the arrangements, making its debut on the stage of Caño 14 with great acclaim. They appeared on television and recorded a long-playing record.

In 1973 he re-organized the orchestra he co-led with Pontier to make a tour of Japan, counting on the collaboration of the female singer Alba Solís and important musicians like: Omar Murtagh, Néstor Marconi and Omar Valente, among others.

In 1977, he made another important tour of Japan that lasted three months, staging an important show with over twenty musicians and tango dancers. On his comeback and after an illness, he put together a symphonic orchestra that performed the show “Tangos por el mundo” at the Teatro Alvear on Corrientes Street.

He died with his boots on on August 27, 1978, on the stage of Caño 14, while he played “Nostalgias” on his beloved violin.