It’s not for dancers - except when it hosts the occasional recorded music milonga - but San Telmo’s
Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso might be the consistently best place in Buenos Aires to hear live tango music. Seating only about 200 spectators at small tables, it’s an intimate venue where, last night, singer-actress Soledad Villamil debuted her new CD Soledad Villamil Canta (Soledad Villamil Sings) in front of a full house that was almost exclusively Argentines in the know. If you’re in search of authenticity at a reasonable price, the Tasso is the place to go - shows here cost a fraction of what more elaborate floor show venues like the Abasto district’s Esquina Carlos Gardel charge. There's a reasonably priced food menu, with Argentine standards such as beef, pasta, and pizza, and a bar.
Villamil, for her part, also sang some folkloric music, backed by a tight four-piece band that included a guitarist, bassist, bandoneonist, and percussionist. Meanwhile, for lovers of the bandoneón - the accordion-like squeezebox that’s the basis of much of tango’s wistful sound - today is the Día del Bandoneón, the anniversary of the birth of maestro Aníbal Troilo (1911-1975). In honor or Troilo (whose tomb at Chacarita cemetery is pictured here), the Monserrat club La Trastienda will showcase five of the instrument’s finest contemporary players in an early evening show tonight (La Trastienda, which hosts mainly rock acts, misleadingly claims to be part of nearby San Telmo). Villamil will also play again tonight at the Tasso.