Miami, March 1, 2021 – The Koubek Center at Miami Dade College (MDC) will celebrate Argentine musician, composer, and bandleader Astor Piazzolla’s 100th birthday with a tribute to his music and its enduring legacy at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 12. 100 Years of Piazzolla, The Soul of New Tango is a virtual event and will feature renditions of some of Piazzolla’s classics by a superb cast of musicians from around the world, and the trailer of the biographical film “The Years of the Shark.” This event is free and open to the public.
The late Piazzolla, the creator of New Tango, would be celebrating his 100th birthday on March 11, 2021. Bitterly opposed by tango traditionalists, Piazzolla was a master of the bandoneon, the challenging, melancholy sounding button squeezebox. He renovated and energized tango by incorporating elements from jazz, klezmer, and European classical music. At the time of his death on July 4, 1992, Piazzolla’s music had a worldwide following including renowned artist, such as cellists Mstislav Rostropovich and Yo-Yo Ma, the Kronos Quartet, pianist Emmanuel Ax, jazz guitarist Al DiMeola, and dance music diva Grace Jones.
“We couldn’t let the centenary of the birth of Astor Piazzolla, one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, pass without paying tribute to his extraordinary work,” said Melissa Messulam, Koubek Center Manager. “His New Tango has transcended borders.”
The program will include performances by the Quinteto Astor Piazzolla, directed by Julian Vat and founded by Laura Escalada Piazzolla, Astor’s widow, for the Fundación Astor Piazzolla; the bandoneon player and arranger David Alsina with a string quartet of Fellows of the New World Symphony; and bassist, arranger, and producer Pablo Aslan‘s Mash-ish, an exploration of tango and Afro-Latin music featuring four female bandoneon players based in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Seoul, and the United States.
100 Years of Piazzolla, The Soul of New Tango, will also include an appearance by Miami’s own Miguel Arrabal, a bandoneon player who performed in Broadway under Piazzolla’s direction; and a trailer of the film The Years of The Shark, which offers a glimpse into Piazzolla’s life, wth an introduction by director Daniel Rosenfeld.
“We have curated an exceptional program that celebrates this musical giant and supports the Koubek Center’s mission of building community through the arts,” Messulam said. “With Piazzolla’s music, we are connecting artists and communities from around the world, from Miami and Rio de Janeiro to Seoul.”
What: 100 Years of Piazzolla, The Soul of New Tango
When: Friday, March 12 at 8 p.m.
Where: Facebook @KoubekCenterMDC
About the MDC Koubek Center
A South Florida landmark with a long and rich history as a cultural center, Koubek Center is dedicated to building community through the arts. For several decades, the center has offered a wide variety of activities, including workshops, art exhibits, plays, literary readings, and concerts. It is a place where local artists and arts organizations can explore and experiment, collaborate and share their work with the community. Koubek Center has a 200-seat theater, a large garden, classrooms, and multipurpose and rehearsal spaces. It was built in 1929 by Austrian businessman John J. Koubek as a gift to his wife. The site was later donated to the University of Miami and acquired by Miami Dade College in 2011. www.koubekcenter.org.