Hernán Salinas

Real name: Aguirre, Jorge Hernán
(30 November 1956 - 21 November 2003)
Place of birth:
Quitilipi (Chaco) Argentina
Abel Palermo

e was a singer that transmitted and performed with a brilliant sonority. He possessed a well-defined baritone range and a Gardelian sensitivity that makes me think that, together with Rubén Juárez and Hugo Marcel, he was part of the best vocal trilogy that appeared after 1960.

He was born in the town of Quitilipi, in the province of El Chaco, in the northeast of Argentina. When he was nine years old his parents settled in the province of Buenos Aires, in La Tablada, near the Capital.

Since an early age he began to study; voice training and vocalization with maestro Roberto Malaver, with the idea of getting ready to enter the ISER (Superior Institute for Radio Speakers). His dream was to be a speaker, but one day his teacher invited him to sing a piece and, after listening to him, at once, he introduced him to singing.

At age 17 he began to sing in taverns, at local shows and, by the mid- 1975, he appeared at the contest organized by TV Channel 9, in the program Grandes Valores del Tango, in which he turned out the winner of a round.

The following year, through different recommendations, he auditioned before the artistic director of the Odeon label, Esteban Decoral Toselli, who had decided to give a new impulse to tango at that time, especially, by promoting young interpreters. In October 1976, the Festival OTI de la canción was held in Buenos Aires and Odeon contested with Hernán Salinas who had already adopted his sobriquet in order to not being mistaken for the then retired Alberto Aguirre (Cholo).

At the contest he was backed with the Carlos García's accompaniment in the numbers “Duende callejero” and “Rosas de ilusión” which were recorded for his first simple disc. In 1977 he released a long-playing record entitled Tango Mío, always with arrangements and conduction by Carlos García. Also, he was hired by Channel 7 to appear in the program Raíz y Canto, emceed by Antonio Carrizo. Later he appeared as soloist in Grandes Valores del Tango.

In 1980 he recorded his second LP, Juventud y Personalidad, accompanied by Armando Pontier's orchestra. Its standouts are his renditions of “Desvelo”, “Íntimas”, “Las 5 en punto”, composed by Pedro B. Pérez and José Oliveira’s “Sombra mía”.

During that year the Band of the Argentine Navy rented the EMI-Odeon studios to record a disc with patriotic marches. The conductor requested from Coral Toselli the services of some singer of the company’s staff and the latter recommended Hernán who became the voice of the Official March of the 1978 World Soccer Cup.

The year 1980 was very important in his career because he joined the recently founded Orquesta del Tango de Buenos Aires, conducted by the maestros Carlos García and Raúl Garello. He would continue as vocalist in that aggregation until his death. It was a 23-year tenure.

In 1981, he recorded another disc: Esas cosas de mi barrio, backed by the orchestra led by Osvaldo Tarantino. The following year, a new satisfaction came, maestro Osvaldo Pugliese invited him to record the tango “Contame una historia” with his orchestra and, for C.B.S., another leader, Alfredo De Angelis, summoned him to record the waltz “Tengo mil novias”.

In 1987, he was summoned by Daniel Piazzolla, on his father's request, in order to perform in France in the little opera “María de Buenos Aires”, written by Astor and Horacio Ferrer. It was such a smash hit that Piazzolla and all his personnel stayed two years in Europe.

On his comeback, he recorded again. On this occasion, two discs: one, live, with the Orquesta del Tango de Buenos Aires for the Melopea label, and another, for RCA-Victor with Saúl Cosentino's orchestra.

He was one of the singers that most traveled. He was several times in Japan with the Orquesta del Tango de Buenos Aires. Also, with Mauricio Marcelli, in the United States, Holland, France and other countries. In 1999 he traveled to Norway, invited to sing in four concerts with the philharmonic orchestra of Oslo.

From the human point of view, I had the luck of being acquainted with him since his adolescence, when he used to go to the camping site of the Voluntary Firemen of La Matanza. He was friend of one of my children, and we had several friends in common.

He died because of a lung ailment, when he was just 47 years old. He left but the memory of his honesty and his artistry survives.