Directed by Pablo Aslan, the Aces of Rhythm is a Tango Sextet that pays tribute to the music and the style of legendary band leader Juan D'Arienzo.
D'Arienzo's nickname was "The King of Rhythm" because of his unstoppable beat that created a revolution in Argentine Tango and propelled thousands of dancers to the dance floor
The sextet plays D'Arienzo's arrangements that have been transcribed from his original music.

About Juan D'Arienzo

Juan d'Arienzo (December 14, 1900 – January 14, 1976) was an Argentine tango musician, also known as "El Rey del Compás" (King of the Beat). He was son of Italian immigrants and used more modern arrangements and instrumentation; his popular group produced hundreds of recordings. His music is played often at milongas in Buenos Aires, and the instrumentals are the classic harder rhythmic tangos with a strong staccato dance rhythm.

D'Arienzo contributed a fresh, juvenile, enlivening air to tango. Tango, had been an ostentatious, challenging, almost gymnastic dance. D'Arienzo gave tango back to the dancers´feet and with that he made the tango attractive to a younger audience. That gained him his nickname: "El Rey del Compás" (The King of Rhythm)

About Pablo Aslan

Argentine-born Pablo Aslan is in demand for his skills as a producer, bassist, and educator, and for his knowledge of traditional and contemporary tango. His most recent album as a leader is Piazzolla in Brooklyn (Soundbrush Records), a tribute to the late Nuevo Tango master. His previous CD, Tango Grill (Zoho Music), was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Tango Album and a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album.

Currently he is a member of the Glass House Orchestra, a multinational ensemble that performs in Europe and North America, and the Astoria Tango Orchestra. He plays regularly with small ensembles in the New York City area, including a three year ongoing residence at Zinc Bar with Grammy nominee Emilio Solla.

Aslan recorded Tango Jazz: Live at Jazz at Lincoln Center (Paquito Records 2010) with Cuban maestro Paquito D’Rivera and toured Europe the following year as music director of D’Rivera’s Tango Jazz Septet. Other recent productions include “Todo Corazon” (Jazzheads) by flutist Mark Weinstein, “Romance” (Soundbrush Records) by pianist/composer Fernando Otero, “Live at Caffe Vivaldi” and “Te Extraño Buenos Aires”(Soundbrush Records) with pianist/composer Roger Davidson.

Aslan has performed and recorded with Yo-Yo Ma, Shakira, Lalo Schifrin, Denyce Graves, Osvaldo Golijov, Pablo Ziegler, Frank London, the New World Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others. He has produced over a dozen albums for the Soundbrush label, including the 2007 Latin Grammy Winner Te Amo Tango by Uruguayan bandoneonist Raul Jaurena. He is currently at work on albums by the Glass House Orchestra, Tributango quartet, a CD of original compositions for Soundbrush Records, and a series of electronic tangos for dancers.

An active researcher and educator, he has produced educational programs for Lincoln Center Institute, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, and Arts Connection in NYC, and lectured and taught at several universities throughout the US, including Harvard, Yale, and UCLA. He served as the Artistic Director of the Reed Tango Music Institute in 2013-14 and is currently Featured Artist at the Indiana University Tangueros Conference.

100 years of "La Cumparsita"

"La cumparsita" is a tango written in 1916 by the Uruguayan musician Gerardo Matos Rodríguez, with lyrics by Pascual Contursi and Enrique Pedro Maroni. It is among the most famous and recognizable tangos of all time. Roberto Firpo, director and pianist of the orchestra that premiered the song, added parts of his tangos "La Gaucha Manuela" and "Curda Completa" to Matos' carnival march ("La Cumparsita"), resulting in "La cumparsita" as it is currently known.

The song was originally a march, whose melody was composed in early 1916 by an architecture student in Montevideo, an 18-year-old man named Gerardo Hernán Matos Rodríguez. On 8 February 1916, Matos Rodríguez had his friend Manuel Barca show orchestra leader Roberto Firpo the music in the cafe called La Giralda. Firpo looked at the music and quickly determined that he could make it into a tango. As presented to him it had two sections; Firpo added a third part taken from his own little-known tangos "La gaucha Manuela" and "Curda completa", and also used a portion of the song "Miserere" by Giuseppe Verdi from the opera Il trovatore.

La Cumparsita is very popular at milongas (Tango social gatherings); it is a common tradition for it to be played as the last dance of the evening.

The song was named cultural and popular anthem of Uruguay by law in 1997

Famous versions of this tango include :

  • Carlos Gardel's rendition
  • Juan d'Arienzo'S Orchestra
  • Osvaldo Pugliese's Orchestra
  • Astor Piazzolla.
  • Japanese instrumental rock group Takeshi Terauchi & Blue Jeans recorded this on their 1969 album, Let's Go Blue Jeans.
  • Gene Kelly dances to "La cumparsita" in the film Anchors Aweigh (1945).
  • The song was included in a ballroom scene of the film Sunset Boulevard (1950), in which Gloria Swanson and William Holden danced the tango.
  • In the 2006 dance movie Take the Lead, Jenna Dewan, Dante Basco and Elijah Kelley danced to a remixed version.
  • In the 1959 film Some Like It Hot, "La cumparsita" is played by a blindfolded Cuban band during a scene in which Jack Lemmon dressed in drag dances with overstated flair in the arms of Joe E. Brown who thinks Lemmon is a woman.[14] During the filming in 1958, actor George Raft taught the other two men to dance the tango for this scene.
  • The song is heard in the Tom and Jerry episode Down Beat Bear.
  • Many artistic gymnasts have used variations of the song as their floor routine soundtracks including Vanessa Atler (1998–99), Jamie Dantzscher (2000), Oana Petrovschi (2001–02), Elvire Teza (1998), Elise Ray (1997–98), Natalia Ziganchina (2000), Maria Kharenkova (2013) and Mykayla Skinner (2011-12).
  • Joannie Rochette skated to the song for her short program during the 2009-2010 season, most famously skating a clean performance at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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