Piano & Direction
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 an 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.
He is the creator of multiple shows, including “Barolo Tango” and “Tango Dueling Pianos." Emiliano directs tango groups of all sizes, including the Típica Messiez, a complete tango orchestra based in New York City and sponsored by the Consulate General of Argentina He is the composer of the new musical, Bordello, which is written by librettist Barbara Bellman.
Raul Jaurena is Master of the Tango, and among today’s most prominent bandoneon players. His music plays a very personal tribute to the influences of his native South America and his adopted hometown of New York. It combines the traditional roots of the Tango and the style of the “Tango Nuevo” influenced by Astor Piazzolla. Raised in Uruguay, his father taught him how to play the bandoneon. His arrangements and his skills as a composer and a solo player make him equally popular both in the USA and in Europe. In 2007 he won a Latin Grammy for best Tango album “Te amo Tango”. He was presented an ACE Award (Asociación de Cronistas de espectáculos de la ciudad de New York) for his professional trajectory. Raul Jaurena, the man that Astor Piazzolla once called ‘one of the greatest bandoneon players ever’ has established a unique connection to his instrument: his play has enriched and added an important facet to modern tango interpretation.
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Javier Sánchez has been playing the bandoneon for over 25 years. Between 2005 and 2016, he has been a member of Latin Grammy Award nominee Rodolfo Mederos Orquesta Típica. Mr. Sánchez has toured the globe with well-known tango orchestras and tango companies such as Tango Pasion, Tanguera, Tango Emotion (returning to Japan for 5 consecutive years), among others. As an active musician in Argentina, Mr. Sánchez played in the most prestigious tango shows of Buenos Aires including El Viejo Almacén, Esquina Carlos Gardel, Café Tortoni, Piazzolla Tango Theater, just to name a few. In 2016, he relocated to the New York metropolitan area and started collaborating with a variety of tango groups, among most noted are Aces of Rhythm directed by Pablo Aslan (debuted at Lincoln Center in July of 2017), Pan American Symphony Orchestra (Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.), and the Astoria Tango Orchestra led by Daniel Binelli (11 piece orchestra tipica). In August of the same year, he won the First Prize at the renowned Che Bandoneon International Competition judged by bandoneon legend Victor Lavallén. In the past two years Mr. Sánchez has also performed with many renown musicians such as Emilio Solla, Pedro Giraudo, and Sergio Buslje just to name a few.
Leandro Ragusa studied bandoneón with the Mtros. Néstor Marconi, Carlos Lazzari and Juan Carlos Caviello and composition & arrangements with Mtros. Gabriel Senanes, Laura Baade, Manolo Juarez an Diego Taranto.
Mr Ragusa was awarded a scholarship by the Konex Foundation and completed the First Higher Diploma in Tango, graduating in 2004. He teaches in Tango history at the University of Tango in Buenos Aires.
Leandro is a co-founder of Centro’feca (Forum of Argentine Cultural Studies), an NGO dedicated to the research and dissemination of Tango.
He was part of different Tango Orquestras: Juan D’arienzo Orchestra, Rodolfo Mederos Orquesta, Orchestra Escuela de Tango. As a soloist he participated in the Tango show of the Huis Ten Bosh Center (Nagasaki-Japan), National Radio Youth Orchestra, the Orcheste Symphonique de Longueuil (Montreal - Canada) and the Symphony Orchestra of the Municipality of San Martín (Buenos Aires)
Since 2016, he has made arrangements for different ensembles in the Argentina and abroad.
He currently performs as a bandoneonist, composer and arranger of ‘Quinteto de Academia’, music for woodwinds and bandoneon, with whom he performed during the months of June and November 2018 in the cities of New York, Boston and Montreal.
A native to California, Christine began her musical journey with the piano at age 5 and the violin at age 8, and was recruited as her church organist at 12. She studied at the University of Northern Iowa and has performed in Philharmonic orchestras in California, Iowa, Missouri and Nevada.
Her interest in argentine tango began in 1999 when she and Beau Bledsoe formed Tango Lorca in Kansas City, Missouri. She moved to Buenos Aires in 2002 to participate in the 3rd annual formation of the Emilio Balcarce Tango Orchestra School where she learned the finer nuances of this art alongside living masters such as Julian Plaza, Victor Lavallen, Sexteto Mayor, Pepe Motta, among many others. She has toured Japan, China, and Europe and the US with Tango X 2, Roberto Herrera, Tango Dreams, Tango Fire, & Tango Lovers.
Christine was the soloist in the Orquesta Tipica Sans Souci for many years, as well as in Buenos Aires tango nightclubs MaderoTango and La Esquina de Homero Manzi. She is sought after for her versatile tango style, exploring new tango alongside their composers such as Ramiro Gallo, Diego Schissi and Juan Pablo Navarro.
When Ms. Brebes is not playing tango, she freelances with many great argentine artists such as Charly Garcia, Elena Roger, Rock a la Batuta, Federico Mizrahi, and Me Darás Mil Hijos. She returns to Kansas City often to play with Ensemble Iberica.
Since 2002, Buenos Aires has been her home. She enjoys teaching tango to musicians and performing. For a look into her life in Buenos Aires, please watch this video (with english subtitles) made for public television in Argentina called Tango y La Ciudad (Tango and The City): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwtWlOS3Xkk
Hailed by La Nacion for his “beautiful sound and exquisite musicality,” Argentinian violinist Sami Merdinian has received worldwide recognition for his outstanding performances, has been the prizewinner in several international competitions, and is routinely engaged as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician. He has appeared as a soloist with the Montevideo Philharmonic, the Argentinean National Symphony, The Charlemagne Orchestre, the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, and the Philharmonia of the Nations at the Concertgebouw, among others. Also highly sought-after as a tango violinist, Merdinian has been a member of Héctor del Curto’s Quintet since 2006. Together, they have toured throughout the US, Mexico, Asia and South America. Mr. Merdinian received a Latin Grammy Nomination for Cuartetango’s Masters of the Bandoneon recording, including collaborations with today’s most prominent bandoneon players.
As a member of Sybarite5, Mr. Merdinian has recently performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Library of Congress. The quintet’s latest CD “Outliers” debuted # 1 on the Billboard Classical Chart.
Merdinian is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of the New Docta International Music Festival in Argentina.
Born in Oita, Japan, violinist Sumire Hirotsuru has multifaceted interests in music, education, and writing. During the past season, she has appeared at Leipzig Gewandhaus, Pilobolous’ Five Senses Festival, Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and WQXR, collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road Ensemble, Bach Collegium Japan, and more. She has recorded video game soundtracks including Final Fantasy XV, which has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.
Every year since 2013, she has invited American students to her hometown for Summer in JAPAN, her own two-week education program for Japanese schoolchildren to give various workshops such as computer science, writing, and performing arts. Her first book has been published in February, 2019 in Japan from Kadokawa.
Sumire earned a B.A. from Harvard University in 2016 and a M.M. from The Juilliard School in 2018. She is a recipient of the William Schumann Prize.
Born in Buenos Aires, Pablo Lanouguere picked up valuable experience in his native Argentina, earning a degree in Jazz from the Escuela de Musica Popular de Avellaneda. Since moving to New York six years ago, he has worked with Raul Jaurena, Fernando Otero, Daniel Binelli’s Astoria Tango Orchestra, Adam Tully, Emilio Solla and Federico Diaz, among others. He also toured around the US with the Alejandro Ziegler Tango Quartet. Since 2018 he leads the “Pablo Lanouguere Quintet” with which he recorded “Eclectico”, his first album as a bandleader.