I must agree with Don Guillermo above. I've been involved in Tango for the last seven years, and I don't see the local Tango scene as wilting at all. On the contrary, we are attracting some of the best performers, teachers, and personalities in the world. At the same time, several of the local instructors, musicians and dancers now have worldwide reputations.
It is true that the options for live tango music are not great, and many (most?) dancers prefer golden age recordings to contemporary music but that is true everywhere in my opinion and has more to do with economics than anything else (long discussion, I won't bore you with it here). I hope that Ms Swan will continue to cover Trio Garufa and the local Tango scene in general - it really is a gem of bay area culture.
My name is Guillermo García and I am the guitarist of Trio Garufa. While I appreciate the exposure given to our band and our new album in this article, there are numerous factual errors that give a false representation of tango. Author Rachel Swan acknowledged to me that she didn't do any research on the genre, and she only visited one dance venue.
Far from "failing to modernize", tango music and dance are among the genres that have most evolved over the last century. A quick consultation to Wikipedia is a good start for the responsible journalist. The tango dance scene is booming in the world right now, as can be easily verified with a web search with keywords "tango in YourFavoriteCityHere".
I am surprised the East Bay Express endorses Rachel Swan's discriminatory judgements on our Bay Area tango dance scene as one that is "middle-aged", "flirts with obsolescence", needs "new blood" and risks "wilting". Moreover, after seeing a few dance venues, the informed journalist would have realized that people of all ages and races dance tango. I am not sure what is implied by "Ecumenical sensibility" (Def. of Ecumenical: "Representing a number of Christian churches").
Author Rachel Swan seems to believe tradition implies "anachronistic" and is thus deprived of "sex appeal". She might acquire a less superficial perspective after reading Igor Stravinsky's definition of the word "tradition" in Poetics of Music: "A real tradition is not the relic of a past that is irretrievably gone; it is a living force that animates and informs the present. Far from implying the repetition of what has been, tradition presupposes the reality of what endures. It appears as an heirloom, a heritage that one receives on condition of making it bear fruit before passing it on to one's descendants".
Other factual errors in this article:
- Trio Garufa was formed in 2001 and did not play with a "rotating cast of bass players". John Eckstrom was the founder bassist, and Dan Robbins joined the band afterwards.
- The "electro-tango" fusion style did not exist yet in the eighties, but started twenty years later. The huge current tango revival (to which this article is oblivious) did start in the eighties thanks to the successful Broadway show "Tango Argentino", followed by "Forever Tango".
- "a parilla" should be "a la parrilla" (and the correct translation is "on the grill")
- "tangeros" should be "tangueros"
- "Pachamana" should be "Pachamama"
Despite all the flaws in this article, I am still thankful to the author and East Bay Express for publishing it. An actual review of the music in our new album would have been nice.
Although my son didn't attend YMP, he did audition, made it through the first round, and went through the interview process, where he, I, and several other children and their parents got interviewed all together. I was completely turned off by the questions and comments that Ms. Newman made, such as asking the children if any of them had ever been sent to the principal's office. My son, then a 5th grader, admitted that he had been sent when he was in kindergarten and first grade, and another kid said something similar. Ms. Newman gave both children very stern looks as they slumped in their seats, and then moved on to other questions.
Ms. Newman also made it clear that she had a perfect record of getting YMP students into college, and that she wasn't willing to ruin that record, which is why, if a student misbehaved, or got bad grades, they would be kicked out of the program. I thought to myself that it would be very easy to have a "perfect" record of getting kids into college if you kicked out all the kids who might have a more difficult time getting into college.
Also, as an example of bad behavior, Ms. Newman said that students would be on their best behavior during the interview process, then, once they were accepted into YMP, they wouldn't be able to sit still in their seats. I couldn't believe that not sitting still would be grounds for being kicked out! Especially for boys, and especially if they had special needs, such as ADHD or OCD -- which is very common for young musicians.
Luckily, my son and I decided that YMP wasn't a good fit for us, and so we didn't experience the worst of Ms. Newman. But I've heard plenty of stories from other parents, such as a friend of mine, whose daughter got kicked out for talking in class. Although the daughter had been warned once before about talking, my friend had absolutely no idea that her daughter had been warned, nor that she was in danger of being kicked out. My friend was really shocked to be told by Ms. Newman that her daughter's bad behavior was a reflection of bad parenting, and that she didn't belong at YMP.
I feel for everyone who has had to deal with Ms. Newman, and hope that something gets done to make YMP into the great program it used to be.
I'm not saying anything positive or negative about this article, but I know these guys and wanted to at least correct a couple of factual errors. Dylan has a "Pizzagram" tattoo. It is a pentagram but with pepperonis on it and it says pizza all around it. That is hilarious. And his mom is not an oil painter but in fact does pastel work. His father is retired and was never a computer engineer but did work in Silicon Valley. Dylan was still in Religious Girls when the name changed. For a while, actually. But pretty close on everything else. Good job on that part.
Great piece!!! As a tango dancer and instructor I usually shy aware from ballroom tango, but teach mostly Argentine Tango at Crystal Ballroom Studio in San Jose. Tango is one dance in which dancers have to improvise, otherwise just dancing school figures is boring!
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Been fucking with HBK gang since 09....but sounds like the writer is a bit biased? ? Hmmm..
ah my mistake.. dropped my notebook when I was dancing the mad tiger. thanks for the correction!
I am so glad the native american people are speaking up. Anyone on here that says they are not responsible....unless you have a true understanding of why these people had every right to be offended, then you are still perpetuating the wrongs against these people. We (white) people have in general, as a society, are not taking time to understand the rights of others (non-white people). Please my fellow descendants of colonizers, take some time, open your hearts and learn about this issue.
i think that there usually isn't a cover charge to get into a farmers market. so in essence the performance isn't being sold to the public. it seems like a misdirected attempt to protect songwriters. but someone doing a cover of one of your songs at a farmers market isn't injurious to a career. it's when people illegally download that artists go bankrupt.
Thank you for sharing your experiences from last year. Everything you say accurately portrays what parents experienced within months of Ms Newman arrival to YMP, she has been given an outrageous amount of power and freedom to abuse and harm the young people she is supposed to serve. In her first year she instituted the "Hall of Shame" , the board looked the other way.
I am not sure what we can do to challenge UCB and the YMP Board to correct these abuses of power, I have contacted Newman's Liz Halimah but have yet to receive any response.
Chief of Staff, firstname.lastname@example.org
*cough* Red plays bass. Peelander Black is the guy who shreds on guitar. Yellow plays rhythm guitar.
YMP, both the teachers and students, had an incalculable affect on my early years and was the sole reason I was able to go to Oberlin Conservatory and then later to the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. To find out about the horrors Ms. Newman has inflicted on the faculty (if you can even call them that) and the students is unbearable. Is there any sort of petition we could start, some sort of protest we could do to get this woman out of the what used to be such a wonderful and life-changing institution???
YMP was the single most influential aspect of my music education. It was the reason why I decided to go into music. The kind of education I received at YMP surpassed what I received at Oberlin Conservatory and at the graduate department of SUNY Stony Brook. YMP was a place unlike any other musical institution for young people. While in other institutions the priorities were mostly about prestige and competition, YMP was about building a community of kids from different backgrounds, and teaching them to respect each other, through their common love for music; it was about first class music education, where each faculty and staff exemplified that being a musician is about personal conviction, hardwork, generosity of spirit, and the highest respect for music as an art form. Everything I did in my musical life after YMP was still inspired by what I experienced at YMP, whether I was on stage or in a class room teaching.
This was the YMP I knew when Marsha Jaeger was the director. YMP has always been, in my heart, the most valuable musical institution in this country.
It is heart breaking to find out it has suffered such toxic leadership. I hope the board will take action and save YMP.
This article is largely focused on the affect Miss Daisy's sour attitude and confusion about the program's goals has on her employees, but the sad truth is that her young students are the ones who suffer the brunt of her tirades. I'm sad to say that two of my neices were forced out of YMP last year over wild, hurtful, and untrue allegations about their behavior and dedication to the program by none other than Miss Daisy herself. These two wonderful girls are from a low-income family, and this program initially seemed like a blessing - offering them the opportunity to excel at the instruments they are passionate about, in an environment with other precocious students and dedicated teachers. In reality, Miss Daisy verbally abuses her students and their parents, regardless of their efforts. She essentially has a few "favorite" students who are incredibly gifted, and who she treats like trophies. Most, if not all, are young males. Everyone else is subjected to an unrealistic standard of achievement, which, when they inevitably fail to reach, results in a verbal lashing from Miss Daisy. My young neices were essentially called stupid and talentless for failing to live up to MD's standards on recital days, and I saw their confidence in themselves drop significantly under Miss Daisy, despite their fierce dedication and hard work during the summer months (when most kids are outside playing - they were practicing). These girls understood that sacrifice was necessary to achieve their goals, but nothing is good enough for MD, unless you are in her chosen few. We finally decided it was time for them to bow out of the program when Miss Daisy insinuated in a written letter to their mother, that they were stupid, whorish, and would never be successful in music. The constant abuse from Miss Daisy (ONLY her, the rest of the staff was wonderful!) became too much, and the stress on the girls was taking a heavy emotional toll. We chose to pull them from the program before Miss Daisy could do permanent damage to their wellbeing and sense of confidence. Shame on you, Miss Daisy!
My name is Daniel Grau Sosa, I am a musician and sound engineer and I find very interesting points made in this article, so I would like to emphasize that I have developed a program specially designed for me which has a built-in intelligent equalizer six bands plus a volume optimizer if anyone was interested in a demonstration or information about it or you can write me also email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dimesland playing this coming Saturday at the Stork Club!
Saturday April 28, 9 p.m.
$6 Stork Club 2330 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
Jackal Fleece, Dimesland, Satya Sena, Electric Chair Repair Co.
Cafes should play classical music, or music on labels from outside the US.
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