Nostalgias Tango
Ricardo García Blaya

Giordano - A virtual café with Graciela Giordano

got acquainted with this Argentine girl that has been living for many years in Spain thanks to my beloved and unforgettable Oscar Himschoot. He recommended me her album that we together listened to in his office on Paraná Street.

Several years later, due to the newssheet of one of her recitals, we exchanged e-mails and then Graciela Giordano began to tell me about her background as if we were having a little coffee on the Gran Vía or on Santa Fe Avenue.

She sent me her second disc, La mujer de la noche larga, which I liked very much, either because of the quality of her interpretations or the accompaniment of the excellent pianist Marcelo Raigal and the right choice of the songs.

Her velvet voice and her delicate phrasing generate an intimate mood, quite gentle and personal that, besides her correct intonation and diction, make her a special singer, distinctive, that I quite like.

Her rendition that combines “Nostalgias” with “Les feuilles mortes” —lyrics by Jacques Prévert— is gorgeous.

«I was born on Pavón Street, at the house of a matron, according to what Mom –she’s about ninety- told me. I always say that I was born on San Juan and Boedo because it sounds more tango-friendly.

«When I was four we went to live in Uruguay. There I began to sing and dance. My mother, who was very fond of music, tried to make her dream come true by putting together a group with children and teenagers that played music, recited poetry, danced and sang. With them we toured throughout the country. The group was known as Luceros Juveniles and we were successful for a couple of years.

«We were growing up and later each one followed one’s own path and I, of course, chose mine. At age fifteen I started to appear as soloist on radio and television programs with Cacho de la Cruz and Alejandro Trotta (channel 4, El Show del Mediodía).

«In 1967 I appeared at a contest at the prestigious Sala Ateneo on 18 de Julio Street in Montevideo and the first day after the competition they called me from the direction to tell me they wanted me to stay as staff singer of the theater. I agreed and there I stayed until 1970 when we returned to Buenos Aires. By that time I used to sing folk and pop music but because of my mother’s influence I began to dig tango (at that time I did not like it at all). I felt that kind of music was too far from me and I only played it to please my mother. Maybe because of that I made my debut with Los Solistas de D’Arienzo in 1974 and with Osvaldo Requena in Mar del Plata.

«After that brief tenure I returned to sing melodic pop songs. In 1975 I appeared at several venues of the western area —Haedo, Ramos Mejía and San Justo— but due to social and financial problems I decided to watch what would happen in Spain. At that time I was twenty-two.

«My voyage on ship lasted seventeen days. It was then, on those days of fear and sadness, when tango broke into my heart. I guess that was my way of keeping myself connected to my people, my family and my city. Those were hard times. Finding a job was more complicated than what I would have expected. Furthermore, if you did not have the residence permit papers you were not hired and to get the papers a signed contract was necessary.

«I did small things to survive. I sang at some party or appeared as guest artist at some pub. I resisted as much as I could until I got my papers. The first three years I sang in an orchestra with a songbook that included the «last hits». They were either rhumbas, pasodobles or English versions by different artists. Quite an experience!

«In 1979 my first daughter was born and, with her, came my wish to devote myself to tango completely. It was like starting all over from scratch. People knew only the Carlos Gardel’s tangos and requested them but I liked to do something else. It was not easy. But little by little I succeeded in getting a songbook according to my liking and the audiences responded affirmatively. In fact, I can say that my professional career began at that time.

«With tango I found the way of saying what I feel at each time of my life. I wouldn’t be able to do it in a diferent way or with another music.

«Here I studied singing with Dina Roth and Jorge Uribe and attended several courses on interpretation by Zulema Kats, Dominic de Fazio (Director of the Actor’s Studio of Los Angeles), Fernanda Mistral and, lastly, two courses with Susana Rinaldi.

«I’ve traveled a lot, I appeared at the most important tango festivals of Spain and Finland. Now I’m happy because my work and devotion for tango is recognized and that greatly satisfies me.

«A couple of years back I’ve been appointed vice-president of the Casa Argentina in Madrid and, besides my concerts, I am responsible for nearly all the cultural events organized by the institution».

Now we have arrived at the end of this virtual coffee shared with this porteñísima friend of Madrid who, in her character also virtual, had the generosity of telling us her story. As my son Martín is now living in the Spanish land, I do not rule out the possibility of personally meeting her some day.