José Felipetti

Real name: Felipetti, José
Nicknames: Natalín
Bandoneonist, composer and leader
(8 October 1873 - 4 May 1941)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Oscar Zucchi

e displayed an intense activity around 1910. He was one of the pioneers of bandoneon playing, and also composer, orchestra leader and even music publisher. A achieved a period of popularity by that time, fronting his Orquesta Natalín. But he never recorded so he became an unknown player about whom we cannot have an opinion, save through his tangos.

He also composed waltzes and one of them which placed him in an outstanding place in the history of our music, “Pabellón de las rosas” (Pavilion of Roses). It was recorded on numerous occasions, by Eduardo Arolas who did it in 1913, later by Francisco Canaro and Roberto Firpo, and by Juan D'Arienzo in 1935.

The famous Pabellón was on the then Avenida Alvear 2885 (today Avenida del Libertador), on the corner of Tagle, in front of the Armenonville. Other researchers placed it on 1355 Alvear Avenue.

Very little is known about his career. He joined and led small outfits with modest expectations, appearing in cafés, whorehouses and popular dance halls.

It is known that he performed at a café located on the present Avenida Pueyrredón, between Sarmiento and Valentín Gómez Streets, with José Martínez —in his debut— and the violinist Julio Doutry.

He was as well music publisher. Between 1905 and 1910 he ran a shop on 2288 Charcas Street. In 1918 he moved to 4372 Costa Rica Street, in the area known now as Palermo Viejo. He published his own compositions and pieces written by others.

I made a research of his oeuvre and found 18 numbers that he composed. Among them I highlight the tango “Los treinta y tres orientales”, written in collaboration with Alfredo Mazzeo. It was recorded by Carlos Di Sarli on three occasions: in 1948, 1952 and 1955. Also is a standout his milonga “Todos te quieren” that Ángel D'Agostino recorded in 1944.

A son of his with the same name and nickname, also playing bandoneon, tried to follow the steps of his senior but he did not achieve anything deserving a line of comment.

Excerpted from the book El tango, el bandoneón y sus intérpretes. Volume 2. Editorial Corregidor.