Néstor Pinsón

Orquesta Típica Juan D'Arienzo

t would end up very hard work trying to mention all the musicians that passed through the ranks of the Juan D'Arienzo orchestra. His career encompassed many years, over forty-five, plenty of work and success, appearing at hundreds of venues, radio stations, clubs, traveling throughout our country and Uruguay.

Because of that, this review includes a large number of players but not all of them.
The story begins with Alfredo Améndola, owner of the Electra label and brother-in-law of Juan D'Arienzo’s father, who offered the young musician to cut recordings in his enterprise. The idea was that by putting together an orchestra, in that way, he would put his life on track. And so it happened.

1928-1929. The basic lineup of his orchestra included: Ciriaco Ortiz, Nicolás Primiani and Florentino Ottaviano (bandoneons), Alfredo Mazzeo, Luis Cuervo and the leader himself (violins), Vicente Gorrese (piano), José Puglisi —Cayetano’s brother— (double bass). Other pianists were: Nicolás Vaccaro, Luis Visca, Juan Carlos Howard and Alfonso Lacueva. The refrain singers were: Carlos Dante and Francisco Fiorentino; also, the female singer Raquel Notar.

In that period they recorded 44 tracks. Before an audience and with a poster announcing «Juan D'Arienzo y Los Siete Ases del Tango», they appeared at the Cine Hindú on Lavalle Street. Later it became the D'Arienzo-Polito (Juan Polito) team, but they didn't succeed in recording. Thereafter, Polito quit and it became the D'Arienzo-Visca (Luis Visca) team. By that time the D'Arienzo’s connection with the Chantecler cabaret, on Paraná Street in the 400 block, had already begun. The tenure lasted almost four years.

1934-1939. Juan is again leader. The new members are: Lidio Fasoli, later, Rodolfo Biagi (piano), Domingo Moro, Juan José Visciglio, Faustino Taboada, Haroldo Ferrero and José Della Rocca (bandoneons), Alfredo Mazzeo, Domingo Mancuso, Francisco Mancini and León Zibaico (violins), Rodolfo Duclós, sometimes Pedro Caracciolo (double bass). Singers: Walter Cabral, Enrique Carbel and Alberto Echagüe.

They appeared on Radio El Mundo and the recording stage for the Victor label began. In this period he made 116 recordings. In December 1935 Rodolfo Biagi (piano) joined them and then, definitively, the classic style of D'Arienzo began. Its first recording was “Orillas del Plata”, on December 31 of that year. Manos Brujas stayed in the orchestra until June 22, 1938 when he cut his last recording, “Champagne tango”. He was replaced by Juan Polito whose first recording was “El internado” on July 8. In late 1939 nearly all the members of his orchestra quit.

1940. Fulvio Salamanca (piano), Héctor Varela (bandoneon) and Cayetano Puglisi (violin) joined them. Salamanca began with the recording of “Entre dos fuegos”, on April 12, 1940, and his last recording was “Sin barco y sin amor”, on March 13, 1957. Then he split with them and put together his own orchestra. Other players in this stage were: Alberto San Miguel, Jorge Ceriotti, Ángel Ramos and José Antonio Di Pilato (bandoneons), Olindo Sinibaldi (double bass), Rodolfo Velo and Alberto Laga (pianists who substituted for Salamanca). Singers that passed through its ranks: Alberto Reynal, Carlos Casares, Héctor Mauré, Juan Carlos Lamas (1940-1943) and Alberto Echagüe and Armando Laborde (1944-1949).

1950. The basic lineup was: Enrique Alessio, Alberto San Miguel, Carlos Lazzari and Felipe Ricciardi (bandoneons), Cayetano Puglisi, Blas Pensato, Jaime Ferrer and Clemente Arnaiz (violins), Fulvio Salamanca (piano), Victorio Virgillito (double bass); the singers Roberto Lemos and Alberto Echagüe. Later, Armando Laborde, Mario Bustos, Jorge Valdez and Horacio Palma.

1974. It is the final stage of his career. Ernesto Franco, Luis Maggiolo, Carlos Lazzari, Felipe Ricciardi and Carlos Niesi (bandoneons), Bernardo Weber, Mauricio Mise, Milo Dojman, Domingo Mancuso and Blas Pensato —Aquiles Roggero, Osvaldo Rodríguez, Fernando Suárez Paz and Eduardo Fernández were added to make a bigger string section— (violines), Juan Polito (piano), Enrique Guerra (double bass).

As it was already said, throughout the long career of the orchestra, a great number of musicians passed through its ranks: Joaquín Do Reyes, Eladio Blanco, Ernesto Franco, Aldo Junnissi (bandoneons), Aquiles Aguilar (violin), René Cóspito, César Zagnoli, Normando Lazara, Juancito Díaz (Salamanca’s cousin), and Carlos Di Sarli (only for a month to substitute for Luis Visca) at the Chantecler cabaret, and Jorge Dragone (piano).

Eighteen vocalists passed through the ranks of his music group: Carlos Dante, Francisco Fiorentino, Rafael Cisca (with no recordings), Walter Cabral, Mario Landi (no recordings), Enrique Carbel, Alberto Echagüe, Alberto Reynal, Carlos Casares, Héctor Mauré, Juan Carlos Lamas, Armando Laborde, Roberto Lemos, Horacio Palma, Mario Bustos, Jorge Valdez, Héctor Millán, Osvaldo Ramos. Vocalists imposed by the recording label: Libertad Lamarque, Antonio Prieto and Mercedes Serrano.

In 1972 D'Arienzo allowed the birth of Los Solistas which, among others, included Carlos Lazzari, Milo Dojman, Normando Lazara, Enrique Guerra, Alberto Echagüe and Osvaldo Ramos. The trademark was «D'Arienzo». After the death of the leader, in 1978, Los Grandes del Compás and, soon later, Los Reyes del Compás appeared, all of them faithful to the maestro’s style.

Based on notes and commentaries by Héctor Ernié, José Gobello, Nicolás Lefcovich, Néstor Pinsón and Jorge Palacio (Faruk).