“Ahora, the last release of the Romo-Agri-Messiez, ranked in the top 5 albums of the year”
Originating among Argentina and Uruguay’s European and African immigrant populations, Tango music, like many other genres, has developed from its original roots to the format known today and loved throughout the world. The word “tango,” some say, is derived from the Latin word “tangere,” which means “to touch.” In its early days, tango was the cultural expression of immigrants and societal outcasts in slums and the bordellos of Buenos Aires. This first generation of tango players from Buenos Aires was called “Guardia Vieja” (the Old Guard). It took time to move into wider circles; however, in the 1920s, tango had become popular among the city’s larger society, moving to the barrios or middle-class neighborhoods and then to the Argentine upper class.
Over the years, tango has undergone a long stylistic journey from its roots to the Golden Age of the 1930s and ’40s and through to Tango Nuevo, championed by Astor Piazzolla in the 1950s and 60s. Today tango boasts several new styles that fuse elements of jazz and electronics while the tradition remains.
Some lines from the TANGO TRIO about the album ‘Ahora’
This album, featuring three of today’s best-known proponents of the style, Horacio Romo, Pablo Agri, and Emiliano Messiez, is a trio recording presenting a somewhat unconventional format in the tango world. The most famous setting for tango music is the “Orquestas Típicas,” often including over a dozen performers; smaller formats featuring four to six players are also popular. The typical trio format in tango music consists of piano, bandoneon, and double bass. Speaking about the line-up of this trio, pianist Emiliano Messiez said, “It’s not that common to find a trio setting with piano, bandoneon, and violin.
“WE DIDN’T WANT TO
BE A ‘TRADITIONAL’
TRIO JUST PLAYING
When we first started to talk about this project, we were worried that the bass sound would be missing; however, once we started playing, we realized that this is not an issue.” The album contains largely original compositions written by each of the trio’s members. Pablo Agri explained further. “We each contributed two new compositions on the album, Horacio’s solo piece is a new composition and the rest of the ma – terial we recorded are arrangements of well-known pieces.” For Horacio, Pablo, and Emiliano, the tango tradition is very important and the music on this album definitely reflects this.
A quick read of the musicians’ biographies will show that all three have a long and distinguished history of playing traditional tango music.
However, this was not the idea behind this trio. Horacio Romo continued, “We didn’t want to be a ‘traditional’ trio just playing traditional tangos. We thought of this project as something different but at the same time we wanted to give due attention to the tradition. We decided that we would play original music – our music – creating a new sound, new music and a new trio” That said, you will find two of the most traditional tangos of all time included on the album, both wrapped in new arrangements. Pablo brought in a new arrangement of “Por Una Cabeza” and “El Choclo”, one of the most famous tangos ever composed and arranged by tango legend Julian Plaza. Emiliano explained, “We all like this song but we particularly love this arrangement. Horacio has played in Julian’s orchestra for years, so he knows it very well.”
In preparing the liner notes for the album, I had the pleasure of speaking to the trio’s pianist Emiliano Messiez. During our conversation, I asked Emiliano how the trio came to be, and he explained. “When we decided to put this trio together, I had already been playing together with Horacio in the show ‘Forever Tango’. He also played with my own orchestra Tipica Messiez. We’d often play together as a duo, but he often suggested we ask Pablo and put together a trio. So, I guess it was his idea.” Before this, Emiliano had not met Pablo but, coincidently, he did know his father, Antonio. Antonio Agri was a neighbor of Emiliano’s family during his youth in Buenos Aires.
A violinist, Antonio was very well known in the scene due mainly to his years playing with Astor Piazzolla. “Antonio was our neighbor, in fact, as a child, I even took violin lessons from him,” explained Emiliano. He said, “To be honest, I found the violin far too difficult and that’s when I decided to switch to piano. As a beautiful and unforgettable gesture, Antonio gifted our family one of his violins and I have the instrument with me here in New York. When we formally met, Pablo got to see his Dad’s violin 30 years later.” As mentioned above, the idea to found this trio stemmed from Horacio and Emiliano some time ago yet, the first time the three actually played together was in the summer of 2021 when the trio performed at the Philadelphia Piazzolla Festival. According to Meredith Klein, the Director of the Festival and the Philadelphia Argentine Tango.
Romo Agri Messiez| Horacio Romo, Pablo Agri and Emiliano Messiez
Bandoneonist, conductor and composer, Horacio Romo was born on October 30, 1973 in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He began his bandoneon studies at the age of 9, encouraged by his father, a singer also known as Horacio Romo. His virtuosity quickly made headlines and at the age of 11 he was hired by the municipality of Lomas de Zamora, the city where he grew up and currently resides. His passion and talent for tango meant that before age 15 he was chosen to accompany great singers such as Alberto Castillo and Roberto Goyeneche.
Bandoneonists Leopoldo Federico and Osvaldo Piro have greatly influenced Horacio’s career, making him a versatile artist with both power and subtlety. Horacio has been a member of orchestras such as the Juvenil del tango, Orquesta Gran Debut, and
Orquesta Color Tango, with which he performed worldwide for 9 years. He has been a member of the Fernando Suárez Paz Quintet, the Astor Piazzolla Foundation Quintet, the Leopoldo Federico Orchestra, the National Tango Selection, and the orchestras of Julián Plaza, Osvaldo Berlingieri, Horacio Salgán, Antonio Agri, Atilio Stampone, Raúl Garello, Rubén Juárez, Osvaldo Piro, Gustavo Beytelman, Cristian Zárate and Pablo Agri.
He was director and first bandoneon of the companies “Tango Argentino” and ̈Tango Pasión. ̈ He performed the opera “María de Buenos Aires” in Poland and was part of the opera “Orestes, last Tango”, which toured Holland and Belgium.
He has accompanied important tango singers such as: Roberto Goyeneche, Alberto Castillo, Alberto Morán, Alberto Ruffino, Rubén Juárez, Guillermo Fernández, Raúl Lavié, María Graña and Elena Roger among others. He toured several countries with the show “Boccatango,” directed by the legendary Argentine ballet dancer, Julio Bocca. He also accompanied international artists such as Julio Iglesias, Luis Miguel, Laura Pausini, Ricardo Montaner, Marco Antonio Solis, La India, Diego El Cigala and Buika.
He participated as a session musician in more than a hundred albums of national and foreign artists, including the album Café de Los Maestros and albums of the orchestras he was part of. He worked with the maestro and director Lalo Schiffrin and participated in the music of the film “Tango” by Carlos Saura. He participated in the documentaries “Café de los maestros” and “Si sos
For four years he was assistant bandoneon teacher at the Orquesta Escuela de Tango directed by maestro Emilio Balcarce. He made his debut with his group Horacio Romo Sexteto, at the Luna Park in the final of the World Cup and Tango Festival 2015 along with Raúl Lavié, and toured with the same group in 2017, performing in 25 different cities in Japan. Due to the great success of the tour, he recorded his first cd that same year and it was the best-selling tango album in that country.
As a soloist he has performed Astor Piazzolla’s Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, playing at the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall (for which he won an Emmy Award for Best Latin Concert), Eugene Oregon Symphony, and Texas Fort Worth Symphony.
In other countries: BBC Philharmonic playing at the Albert Royal Hall (England), Auckland
Philharmonic (New Zealand), Lima Symphony (Peru), Moravia Symphony (Czech Republic), Porto Alegre Symphony and Rio Philharmonic (Brazil).
He is currently a soloist with the Orquesta Nacional de Música Argentina Juan de Dios Filiberto, first bandoneon in the orchestras of José Colangelo and Nicolás Ledesma (winner of a Grammy). He is the musical director and first bandoneon of the company Forever tango, a show with the same name that tours the world.
Since 2005 he is also the musical director and first bandoneon of Sexteto Mayor, the legendary orchestra with more than 45 years of experience (winner of two Gardel awards). In addition, he returns to perform Piazzolla’s concerts for bandoneon and orchestra and to work in duo with violinist Pablo Agri.
Pablo Agri has performed as soloist in several international symphonic and chamber orchestras. Hehas played with many of the most important tango musicians: Mariano Mores, Néstor Marconi,Horacio Salgán, Julián Plaza, Susana Rinaldi, Osvaldo Berlingieri and Juan José Mosalini, among others. In 2012, his sextet was nominated for the Gardel Award as best Tango group. In 2014, he was named Outstanding Personality of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires.
He has participated in the recitals and recording of the CD Cigala Tango, along with Diego El Cigala, Latin Grammy Award-winning album. In 2018 he starred alongside Eduardo Walczak in the documentary “Walczak Agri, violinists”, produced by The Argentine Tango Society. He is currently the conductor of the Camerata Argentina and the orchestra of the TV Pública program “La hora del tango” and is a member of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional and the Sexteto Mayor.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and based in NYC, pianist/composer Emiliano Messiez has become one of the most in-demand tango pianists in the country. He has played some of the country’s most notable music venues, including Lincoln Center, and performed with some of the world’s top musicians, such as Paquito de Rivera, Dino Saluzzi, and Concha Buika. With Jose Luis Infantino, he recorded an album, “Silencio,” in 2004 which received a UNESCO Prize for music.
Emiliano graduated from the National University of the Arts in Buenos Aires. He later joined the faculty there, teaching in the Department of Composition. He also graduated from Berklee College of Music’s Escuela de Music Contemporánea in Buenos Aires. Emiliano is the composer of the upcoming musicals, “Bordello” (book and lyrics by Barbara Bellman) and “The Guava Tree,” produced by Creede Repertory Theater. To learn more about Emiliano, please visit his website: www.emilianomessiez.com
Ahora Press Release
Ahora named one of the Top 5 CDs of 2022 in
La Nación, a preeminent Argentine newspaper
Debut Album of Three World Renowned Musicians in Classical Crossover – Horacio Romo (Bandoneon), Pablo Agri (violin), and Emiliano Messiez (Piano) NEW YORK, NEW YORK (December 19, 2022) –“Ahora” (“Now” in English), the new classical crossover album by Romo-Agri-Messiez Trio, has been selected by music critic Ricardo Salton as one of the top five albums of 2022 in La Nación, the preeminent newspaper in Argentina. Recognizing the importance of a return of culture after the pandemic, the newspaper listed the top in film, music, streaming, and performing arts. Horacio Romo (bandoneon) and Pablo Agri (violinist), who live in Buenos Aires, and Emiliano Messiez (piano) of New York were overwhelmed to be included in Salton’s selection. Messiez said, “We are so grateful to be recognized by Ricardo Salton, a highly respected music critic in Argentina. We’ve been getting wonderful feedback on the album,
but this is beyond our expectations.”
Produced by Aliud Records in the Netherlands in collaboration with Bacqué Recording Studios in New Jersey, this project was an act of love and dedication to the music by this world-renowned trio. The album presents a format that is somewhat unconventional in the tango world. The typical trio format found in tango music consists of piano, bandoneon, and double bass, not violin, but they were committed to creating a very unique sound, which they have. This debut album contains largely original compositions, written by each of the trio’s members. Pablo Agri, the son of Antonio Agri, violinist for Piazzolla, explained further. “We each contributed two new compositions on the album, Horacio’s solo piece is a new composition and the rest of the material we recorded are arrangements of well-known pieces.” For Horacio, Pablo and Emiliano, the tango tradition is very important and the music on this album reflects this. Horacio Romo continued, “We didn’t want to be a
‘traditional’ trio just playing traditional tangos. We thought of this project as something different but at the same time we wanted to give due attention to the tradition. We decided that we would play original music – our music – creating a new sound, new music and a new trio.”
Celebrated Argentine composer, pianist and teacher Gustavo Beytelmann, and one of the most significant contributors to the evolution of the tango today, said of Romo-Agri-Messiez, “… the composition and arrangements find an excellent balance between formal melodic harmonic novelties and tradition and the undeniable mastery of these wonderful musicians in the art of tango.”
Ahora is available on CD and all streaming and download platforms in stereo and immersive formats. Please visit www.aliudrecords.com for more information.
ABOUT ALIUD RECORDS
Aliud Records is an innovative record label based in the Netherlands and with a worldwide reach. The label’s
focus is on Classical and Jazz music, now expanding into world music, and boosts an extensive catalogue
performed by world class artists. In addition to Classical and Jazz releases, they have a series titled the
Modern Art series that features new compositions from some of the best 21st century composers and for
lovers of music for symphonic wind orchestras the “Brass Series”.