February 18, 2008
Ambassador of Argentine tango
By jessica moore
Kristin Wendland, a senior lecturer in the music department, has devoted the past 10 years to researching the music, dance and history of the Argentine tango. She is the faculty adviser for the Emory College club Tangueros Emory and is the director of the Emory Tango Ensemble.
On Thursday, Feb. 28, the Emory Tango Ensemble will take the stage alongside the Emory Big Band and guest musicians Pablo Aslan, bass, and Emilio Solla, piano, for a free performance. For more information call 404-727-5050.
Emory Report: How did you first become interested in the tango?
Wendland:Ten years ago when I saw a performance of Argentine tango at the dance studio where I was taking lessons. I also study arranging and tango piano with Sonia Possetti in Buenos Aires. It’s a different style, just like jazz. You just don’t walk into playing tango having only studied Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms.
ER: What is your goal for the Emory Tango Ensemble?
Wendland: I am now into my second year as a coach for the Emory Tango Ensemble, part of the Emory Chamber Music program. I formed the group when I came back from my Fulbright-sponsored trip to Argentina. My goal is to create arrangements of tango music and to really study and promote the music of the tango. We are lucky to have Osvaldo Barrios, a professional Argentine tango musician, be an active coach for our ensemble.
ER: What does Tangueros Emory do?
Wendland: Tangueros Emory hosts milongas (tango dances) on the first Saturday of every month and weekly classes on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the Glenn Memorial Fellowship Hall. On March 29, we’re going to co-host a ‘Swango’ with the Emory Swing Club.
ER: How did the idea for your upcoming performance develop?
Wendland: Last April I saw Pablo Aslan and Emilio Solla perform with the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra at Lincoln Center. Since we have such a great jazz program here, I thought it would be a good way to join forces and present Pablo and Emilio as the new face of tango, which is more experimental than the traditional. Gary Motley has been rehearsing two arrangements of tango for the Emory Big Band who are also performing. The Emory Tango Ensemble will open the program.