Blue ice meets red soil in Norwegian-Argentinian collaboration
The Argentinian folk musician Chango Spasiuk and the brilliant Norwegian guitar player Per Einar Watle met each other in Argentina in 2017 and soon found common musical ground, where the warmth of the hot red soil in Northeast Argentina meets the biting cold of northern winters.
The accordeonist Spasiuk has performed at Oslo World twice before, in 2005 and 2015. He has deep roots in Argentinian musical traditions, but has also ventured beyond those borders. Today, he is one of the foremost performers of the Chamamé tradition, a music which mixes influences and instruments from Spanish, African and Guarani traditions – and which for a long time was a form of expression met with derision and prejudice. Through musicians like Spasiuk, it is enjoying a revival, and Argentina proposed its inclusion in UNESCOs intangible cultural heritage list in 2018. Spasiuk’s family has Ukrainian background, and in his version of Chamamé, the connections to polka and different forms of Eastern European music are made explicit.
Guitarist and composer Per Einar Watle has specialized in string swing and Latin American folk music, and is known in Norway for projects like Salto Mortale (formerly known as Christianssand String Swing Ensemble) and the music for the long running TV series Neste Sommer.
In the band, we also find Changos regular percussion/guitar partner Marcos Villalba, and a team of experienced musicians from Norwegian jazz and folk music: Steinar Raknes (Stillhouse, Arvvas, Ola Kvernberg Trio), Kenneth Ekornes (Brazz Brothers, Nymark Collective, Grupo Zanza, Batagraf) and folk singer Anne Gravir Klykken (Vintermåne, collaborations with Iver Kleive, Bugge Wesseltoft, Ingebjørg Bratland, Knut Buen).
The record will be recorded in June 2019 and we are looking forward to the worldwide premiere at Riksscenen, during Oslo World.