The best tango in New Mills

Argentina’s finest tango artist, Martín Alvarado, will be performing in New Mills in August as part of his 23rd international tour.

The globe-trotting tango troubadour will be singing at the newly refurbished Spring Banks Arts Centre on Saturday, August 25 at 7.30pm.

He will be flying into Manchester that morning hot from his debut in Ireland at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on Friday, August 24, and will heading north the following day for his Scottish debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on Sunday, August 26.

His performance in New Mills forms part of his third tour of the UK which also takes in other concerts in Liverpool, Melbourne, Sheffield, Carlisle, London and Nottingham, a city where Alvarado has an ardent following after his performances last year in the successful stage show, Midnight Tango, starring the tango darlings of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace.

Philip Kendall, chairman of the trustees at Spring Bank Arts Centre, said: “We are really looking forward to having such a major tango talent perform in New Mills. It is very exciting, Martín is used to playing major venues.”

Alvarado, who counts Stevie Wonder and former Deep Purple vocalist Glenn Hughes among his inspirations to sing, added: “I am very happy to be visiting New Mills to perform and seeing a bit of the beautiful Peak District.

“I believe I have been given a gift to play and sing and reach people’s hearts. So giving it all whenever I have the chance to perform is my way to honour that gift I have been given.”

The Buenos Aires-born singer has won wide acclaim across the world for his “extraordinarily beautiful” tenor voice, and already, his phenomenal artistry is such that he is increasingly being recognised as one of the most significant vocalists in the history of tango. In Russia recently, he was described as “the new Carlos Gardel”, after the tango superstar of the 1930s.

As well as being a naturally gifted singer, Alvarado is also renowned for his commanding and charismatic stage presence and his outstanding repertoire from four albums which features work by Argentina’s most celebrated poets and composers, including rare work by the Godfather of tango nuevo Astor Piazzolla, as well as some of his own, as yet unrecorded, compositions.

His interpretations have a particularly contemporary and creative sound in the way he phrases the music and his style is increasingly a significant influence in the evolution of the genre.

At the same time, his deep love and respect for the tango tradition means the songs remain universally accessible. In his native Buenos Aires, Alvarado engenders much national pride for the way the way, in 23 international tours over the past ten years, he has become something of a cultural ambassador for Argentina’s rich musical heritage.

He discovered his talent to sing at the age of 19, by chance, while studying guitar in Buenos Aires. A few years later he travelled to Spain where he was spotted singing in Barcelona and invited to perform in Finland, where tango is a hugely popular activity.

News of his talent quickly spread and within two months of arriving there, he was performing with the Tampere Filharmonia orchestra.

Since then he has had numerous TV performances in Finland, Russia and Argentina, and collaborated and performed with renowned Finnish tango quintet Otra Vez as well as some of the leading musicians in the genre in Argentina, including the highly revered bandoneon player, Leopoldo Federico, who was a guest performer on his second album, “Asi es mi tango”, and Horacio Avilano, a prominent guitarist who worked with him on his last album “Más Allá”.

In 2008, he starred in the cutting-edge “El concierto del Nuevo Tango” with internationally-renowned conductor Patrick Gallois, Otra Vez and symphony orchestras and, separately, with Finland’s celebrated UMO jazz orchestra.

In 2009, he took part in Piazzolla’s operita “María de Buenos Aires” on its first Polish version and several times in Finland. He stars in it again in July after being invited to perform, as one of the few international soloists, for the second time, at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, one of the most prestigious chamber music festivals in the world.

He is currently working on his fifth album with Horacio Avilano and sixth album with acclaimed Finnish pianist and bandoneonist Mikko Helenius.