Enrique Maciel

Real name: Maciel, Enrique
Nicknames: El Negro
Pianist, guitar player, leader and composer
(13 July 1897 - 24 January 1962)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Raúl Lafuente

e was a complete musician and a sensitive composer, creator of valuable songs. Besides being a fine composer, he was a player of harmonium, piano, bandoneon and guitar. The latter instrument is the one that identified him permanently in the memory of tango addicts.

He made his early musical studies at a religious school of Buenos Aires. He continued studying even after his early professional performances in 1915. His first tango, "Presentación", is still unpublished.

He joined small groups to perform at ballrooms and toured the Argentine provinces. He remembered affectionately the bandoneon player Angel Danesi among his partners.

In 1920, in Bragado, he met the poet Enrique Maroni and with his collaboration he published immediately the tango "La tipa", committed to record three years later by Rosita Quiroga. One year later Maciel was staff guitarist for R.C.A.-Victor where he backed the Chilean Glos-Balmaceda duo.

There he met José María Aguilar with whom he made recordings as guitar duo, accompanying besides the artists of that label; firstly, Feria-Italo and later, Rosita Quiroga.

The circumstance that Maciel was as well piano player resulted in three times the small pay he was given by the record company. He accompanied Rosita Quiroga on harmonium in the tango "Sollozos" written by the Fresedo brothers.

In 1925, the pianist Carlos Vicente Geroni Flores introduced him to Ignacio Corsini. After an audition where he played guitar and piano Maciel was soon hired by the singer. The gigs with Corsini would last until 1943. His first partners in the guitar group were José Aguilar and Rosendo Pesoa. In 1928 Aguilar left the group and Armando Pagés joined them.

He later put together a tango orchestra and debuted on Radio Argentina and later on Radio Porteña. Gradually his performances were less often and in the 50s he retired.

There were two fundamental characters who cannot be absent in a faithful portrayal of Enrique Maciel: the interpreter that committed to disc and included in his repertoire the greatest number of his works, Ignacio Corsini, and the great writer and poet Héctor Pedro Blomberg.

In 1929, Maciel and Blomberg began his collaborations with three pieces: the tango "La mazorquera de Monserrat" and the waltzes "La pulpera de Santa Lucía" and "La guitarrera de San Nicolás". The following year they released two great tangos: "La viajera perdida" and "La que murió en París". In them Blomberg stepped aside of the mood of almost his whole output of songs, focused in the time of Juan Manuel de Rosas, in the Buenos Aires of 1840 and other pieces of evocative character. Undoubtedly they deserved to be among the oeuvre of the great lyricists of tango.

Besides Héctor Pedro Blomberg and Enrique Maroni, Enrique Maciel musically collaborated in other compositions with Ignacio Corsini himself ("Aquel cantor de mi pueblo"), with Juan Velich, Enrique Dizeo ("Siempre tuyo", waltz), with the Uruguayan Francisco Brancatti ("Bicho feo", "En la vieja pulpería", "Señor"), with Eugenio Cárdenas ("Ansias sublimes", waltz), with Enrique Cadícamo ("Picaflor", "Que pare el baile", "El barrio está triste"), with Agustín Magaldi and Pedro Noda ("Desprecio", milonga), with Horacio Sanguinetti ("Morocha triste", canción) and with Celedonio Flores ("Mala entraña"), among others.

Maciel was a humble affectionate man. Modesty embellished the great figure of the one who made so important contribution to tango and song in general.

Published in Cuadernos de Difusión del Tango, nº 20, directed and published by Salvador Arancio.