It will come as a surprise to some that there exist Argentinean accordion-players who are not particularly interested in Tango. Chango Spasiuk even goes as far as calling Tango “grey music”, presumably due to its association to the concrete and asphalt of Buenos Aires. While Tango is essentially urban, Chamamé is a musical style connected to North-Eastern Argentina, to the deep jungle bordering Brazil and Paraguay. Here, in the region called Mesopotamia, Chamamé developed in a unique cultural exchange between Spanish Jesuit immigrants, Volga Germans and the indigenous Guaraní population. It is a particular musical style rooted in the Central European Polka tradition, still carrying the mark of Spanish guitar and melancholy Eastern European accordion. Chamamé has long existed in the shadow of Tango. However, certain artists have been able to present it to an international public – Chango Spasiuk being among the most notable. As his last name suggests, Chango is of Ukrainian heritage. He has grown up to know the strong musical impulses of his home in the Mesopotamia region, and learnt not only to keep Chamamé alive but also to modernise it, experiment with it and present it to new audiences at home and abroad. Long-haired and bearded, he makes a lasting impression upon all who see him play live with his energetic performances.
It is ten years since Spasiuk visited the Oslo World Music Festival. This year he opens the festival with Orquesta Tipica Fernandez Fierro at Sentrum Scene.
The table is set for a magical evening.
In collaborations with Ministerio de la Cultura de la Nacion Argentina, Embassy of Argentina and PR Producciones.
Supported by Ministerio de la Cultura de la Nacion Argentina.
Text: Kristian Krohg-Sørensen