Chango Spasiuk

Argentinian accordion is usually synonymous with tango, but not in the case of accordion ace Chango Spasiuk. He hails from rural, northeastern Argentina and plays a local brand of dance music called chamamé. It's earthy stuff, often played with fiery speed and intensity, but can also be quite elegant and full of shifting dynamics, as well as emotionally complex, simultaneously blending melancholy and joy. Like the yerba mate grown in the region, chamamé is full of piquant flavors, culled from the African rhythms of slaves, music of the indigenous Mbyá Guarani people, Spanish colonists and 19th-century eastern European immigrants, including Spasiuk's own Ukrainian ancestors, who brought waltzes, polkas, and schottisches. Spasiuk's 2004 album, Tarefero De Mis Pagos (Piranha), a tribute to the workers who harvest the yerba mate, mixes traditional pieces and originals in a fine acoustic context of accordion, bandoneon, double bass, violins, and guitars.
Sat., Sept. 22, 8 p.m., 2007
 
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