Néstor Pinsón

Orquesta Típica Lucio Demare

ucio Demare was an exceptional composer who, from a young age, always produced successful and lasting pieces. A sober pianist inclined to romanticism, as accompanist he never tried to stand out, because he was backing up the singer. At times, he even made the sound of the piano disappear to allow a complete showcasing of the interpreter. That can be heard in the renditions of his fabulous trio with Agustín Irusta and Roberto Fugazot.

The comments of that time highlight two pieces, recorded for the Victor label, in which his piano and the violinist Sam Reznik are featured. They were his compositions “Capricho de amor” and “Mi musa campera”, with Agustín Irusta on vocals. But all the things played by the trio deserve special attention. After the years spent in Spain he returned for a new opportunity: leading an orchestra in his own country. He had already tried that experience in Europe, for some recordings, appearances at theaters and in the movie Boliche. It is worth mentioning that, among its members, his father Domingo, violinist, and his brother Lucas Demare, later movie director, used to appear in it. The latter feigned playing bandoneon, and sometimes even played some notes.

He worked with Elvino Vardaro, and among other guys, Carlos Parodi (pianist), the lead bandoneonist Alfredo Calabró, and the singer Juan Carlos Miranda joined them. The tenure of this group was short. After splitting with Vardaro, he started on his own in the forties. He appeared on Radio El Mundo with: Julio Ahumada, soon afterward replaced by Máximo Mori (bandoneon); that section also included Oscar Capurro, Nicolás Pepe and Santiago Coppola. The violin section was in charge of Raúl Kaplún, Carlos Arnaiz, Renato Lencione, Milo Dojman and Orestes Zungri. Oscar Roma was on double bass and was later replaced by Mario Monteleone. The vocalist was Juan Carlos Miranda and Lucio Demare was on piano and leadership. Nearly all the arrangements were written by Máximo Mori.

In 1942 a new vocalist arrived: Roberto Arrieta. Late that year the directors of the radio station suggested including the singer Raúl Berón, with an impressive salary. He made his debut on January 2, 1943 and cut 25 recordings. About a year later Horacio Quintana joined them and was in charge of all the vocals but the last, a track which was shared with Carlos Bernal. That took place on June 11, 1945.

Quintana tried out being soloist backed by Raúl Kaplún and so both quit the orchestra. Lucio had to comply with some agreements and included Carlos Almada (who did not cut recordings). Later on Radio Belgrano he turned to, on some occasions, the violinist and singer Raúl Garcés for the two roles but he did not succeed in recording either.

He was not a leader that used to frequently change players; on the contrary. A photograph taken at the Embassy tearoom, in 1946, shows Mori, Coppola, Capurro, Pepe and Arnaiz; the new ones are the violinists Agustín Fredier and Nathan Melman, and the double bassist, now Omar Sansone. As singer they had Carlos Almada.

His activity on radio continued until 1948, but on Radio Splendid. Two new vocalists coming from the Pedro Laurenz orchestra joined them: Carlos Bermúdez and Jorge Linares. But the orchestra only recorded instrumentals. Soon thereafter Roberto Arrieta returned for a short period and then was replaced by Mario D'Elía.
Demare quit the Odeon label and switched to Columbia. He continued on Splendid and in 1952 he came back to the Belgrano radio station. Armando Garrido, coming from the Osvaldo Fresedo orchestra joined them. Lucio signed with a new label, the technically irregular TK label.

Towards the end of his career fronting his orchestra, he recorded for the Philips and the Disc Jockey labels. In 1950/51 another vocalist, Héctor Alvarado, cut four tracks. Without his own orchestral ensemble, in 1955, he accompanied Tania in four pieces. Probably there were other names that could have joined him as temporary replacement but the only one we know, and we might be mistaken, is José Domínguez (violinist). Some researchers deny it and say that instead it was the bandoneonist Luis Justino Mejías.

In 1956 he decided to resume his piano playing in intimacy, as soloist on radio, and playing occasional duos with Ciriaco Ortiz or his all-time partner Máximo Mori. Finally he dropped anchor in his Malena al Sur, and a good number of singers dropped by his venue, disinterestedly, to have the pleasure of being accompanied by his piano.