Néstor Pinsón

hen researching about the background of this notable musician, I collected very interesting material concerning his thoughts about art and his career that I think it is important to summarize to present in his portrayal.

Juan José was born in the city of Buenos Aires and studied the way of playing his instrument —for many years— under the tutelage of his father. Furthermore, he studied music theory, music reading and harmony, and furthered his studies with Ernesto Baffa as from 1963.

One year before he had won a television contest, Nace una estrella (A Star is born), organized by the TV Channel 13. Then he played in the staff orchestra of that channel and was member of several orchestras like the ones led by Jorge Dragone, Ricardo Tanturi and Horacio Salgán. In 1965 he joined the Leopoldo Federico’s aggregation and later José Basso’s.

By that time he was a player with a polished technique and excellent sound, with warmth and good taste in the solo bandoneon interpretations. As from 1968 he was member of the Osvaldo Pugliese orchestra in the bandoneon section that also included Arturo Penón, Rodolfo Mederos and Daniel Binelli. He also wrote several arrangements for that aggregation.

By the same time he co-led with Binelli and wrote many of the charts of the Quinteto Guardia Nueva, which made its debut in 1970 and appeared at the Facultad de Medicina (School of Medicine), at the Teatro San Martín and on Radio Municipal. They also played at recitals organized by SADAIC and recorded their renderings at the Fermata label run by Ben Molar.

Later, with the pianist Osvaldo Manzi and the guitarist Ciro Pérez, he appeared at venues more akin to tango. He led a group that accompanied José Ángel Trelles and appeared as soloist of the group of progressive music, Alas, at recitals at the Teatro Coliseo.

In 1976 when the female singer Susana Rinaldi traveled to Brazil and to Paris, he was summoned by Juan Carlos Cuacci —leader of the group that accompanied her— to join it.

The following year he settled in Paris to work along with Gustavo Beytelman. Among others, he composed the tango “Fueyazo”, the milonga “Siempre milonga” and the candombe “Nuevo San Telmo”. The three were co-written with Daniel Binelli. Another candombe, but this time he was the sole composer, was “Sábado negro”.

In a talk of 1977 in Paris he used to say: «For the Argentine musicians that live in Europe listening to our music from Roberto Firpo and Julio De Caro to Horacio Salgán, Eduardo Rovira and Astor Piazzolla’s group of 1946 is something that makes us feel well.

«When I play an old record I stumble down, it is extraordinary. It ought to be mandatory for children in grade school to listen to our music because there is a big historical gap in the memory of people. In 1976 we already have the military and in 1977 I settled here. We put together a large number of groups that were aborted, the environment was hostile for anything connected with art. I was a leading member of the musicians’ union and we were persecuted because we had a presence. We used to treasure memories like the bandoneon quartet, with Ástor, Mederos, Binelli and I, that at the Coliseo theater played music composed by Piazzolla in Italy, or that group Generación Cero with Mederos, or our encounter with Spinetta and the group Alas at the Luna Park (a recording that was never released).

«When I came to Paris I met musicians of the level of Gustavo Beytelman, Enzo Gieco, Tomás Gubitsch. Thereafter here we formed the group Tiempo Argentino and released a record with a prologue by Julio Cortázar. We were very good friends with the flaco. The testimony of our friendship is seen in the movie Buenas noches, che bandoneón, with music of mine and Julio’s words. There is another recording published in 1979 with bandoneon solos and Cortázar’s voice. Today we both are French citizens. I have a great recognition for this country. Here I’ve found my way of living and my art expression.

«From 1980 to 1982 I led the Cuarteto Canyengue that later became a trio with Beytelman and the double bass player Patrice Caratini. It was an eleven-year tenure, we recorded discs and made many tours of many places. Now the pianist is Osvaldo Caló. Gustavo is now devoted to composition. Nine years ago the Ministry of Culture of France authorized the teaching of accordion playing because accordion is the most popular instrument in France and they also included bandoneon playing. The graduates get a proficiency certificate. Since then I’ve been teaching in the National School of Music of Genevillier near Paris. I also write music for movies».

Now he thinks that his country has changed and because of that he often comes back but with no intention of being based here again. He appeared at the amphitheater of Parque Centenario, at the Teatro IFT, at the Avenida and he is planning to publish in Buenos Aires his recordings with the guitarist Leonardo Sánchez and the orchestra of Low Normandy.

He goes on teaching. He has been in that task for many years. With César Stroscio, an alumnus of his and his son Juanjo are devoted to teach children musicians: «We have six years-old students».

For the near future he wants to go on recording, playing works by other composers and he is interested in giving back the importance the arrangers deserve: «I did it, partially, with my tango orchestra by recording a double album that included a medley of compositions by De Caro arranged by Argentino Galván for the Troilo orchestra. They were very important musicians who were underrated. They do not appear on the record covers, nobody knows who wrote the charts. I’m referring to the public’s knowledge, in general».

Undoubtedly, Mosalini is an excellent ambassador of tango music in Paris and a great artist that could not be absent in our Todo Tango portal.