They are not only called the Sexteto Mayor (the best sextet) - they are the best. There is no tango ensemble in the world that is more important or successful. Their interpretations of traditional tangos, right up to and including the works of Astor Piazzolla, are unique. In addition, their founders, the bandoneonists José Libertella and Luis Stazo, have composed numerous tangos of their own. There is more or less no country in the world where the Sexteto Mayor hasn’t played. In Europe the list of concert houses where they have performed reads like a “Who’s Who“ of venues: Théatre des Champs Elysées (Paris), Teatro Victoria (Madrid), Deutsche Oper (Berlin), Philharmonie (Köln), Teatro Tivoli (Helsinki), Kreml (Moskau), and so on.
Many critics and tango aficionados consider him to be the greatest tango musician to be seen live today: Juan José Mosalini. The Argentinean bandoneonist can look back at a career of almost 40 years, during which he has played with Argentina’s best orchestras and soloists: Susana Rinaldi, Leopoldo Federico, Astor Piazzolla, José Basso, Horacio Salgan, Osvaldo Pugliese, Daniel Binelli, and so on. He has composed film music, published collections of exercises for the bandoneon and become the first professor for bandoneon in France, at the same time as continuing to work with jazz musicians.
The musicians of the Buenos Aires Tango Trio are all Porteños, which means they were born in Buenos Aires. Their first contact to Tango came early. The musical director of the group, the pianist, flautist and arranger, Jorge Coll, came from a tango family. His father was a tango pianist and his uncle played bandoneon. Aníbal Civilotti, singer, guitarist and second double bass player was also born into a tango family. His father, Hector Omar, often returns to Argentina or is on tour in Europe. Bandoneon und bass are also played by Claudio Dartevelle, who, like the other members of the group, enjoyed a classical musical training.
The sound of Astillero is forceful, vertiginous, breathtaking, raw yet sophisticated: a rollercoaster ride of throbbing accents modulating into earth-shattering pianissimos and beyond. Yet this wild sound is entirely hand-made, free of any gimmicks, 100% acoustic: the sound of just wood and strings, brought to searing life by an acute sense for translating the experience of 21st century urban life into new music, built on a solid traditional foundation of Buenos Aires' tango.
The orchestra, though featuring the typical instruments of a classic tango ensemble (two bandoneons, violin, piano, cello, double bass, and a singer) is a tango formation that has nothing to do with the 'tango' of our collective conciousness. Astillero proposes a completely new vision of tango, incisive and intense, rough and violent, refecting the times we live in.
The terror of the military regime in the years between 1976 and 1983 drove many Argentineans into exile in Europe. Paris became a tango metropolis, as it had been before in the 20’s. Amongst the tango musicians to find a new home in Paris in the 70’s was the bandoneonist Juan José Mosalini, who had been born in 1943. Like Astor Piazzolla, he had also started his career with famous Argentinean tango orchestras, with Leopoldo Federico and Osvaldo Pugliese. In Paris in the early 80’s, together with the pianist Gustavo Beytelmann and the jazz bass player Patrice Caratini, he founded a trio which rearranged traditional tangos and fused them with jazz element. In the years that followed he committed himself to composing film music and works for orchestra, as well as to further developing the bandoneon techniques. At the beginning of the 90’s he was appointed professor for bandoneon at the National Music College in Gennevilliers (near Paris).