Tángalo is a Sydney based quintet formed by Emily-Rose Sarkova and Owen Salome, neither of whom have Argentine backgrounds, but who have both contracted the infamous ‘Tango Bug’.

Emily-Rose a pianist and accordionist has been dancing Tango since the age of 19 when she went to her first milonga with a friend and saw a performance by a visiting dance couple. When Owen first moved to Sydney to study composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, one of his flatmates was Jenny Wood – a Tango teacher in Sydney, thus a tiny Tango seed was sown in Owen’s head.

Emily-Rose met Owen when they were studying classical music degrees at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, but it was after they had graduated that their dream to create a Tango group together was realised.

In 2010 they enlisted their good friend Susie Bishop, an opera singer and violinist whom Emily-Rose had originally met through Tango dancing and folk music. They also enlisted fellow Conservatorium student, pianist Amy Putt. Finding a permanently committed double bass player was a little more difficult until Susie’s Swedish boyfriend, Johan Delin arrived to live in Sydney with her. He just happened to be a double bass player. Thus the core five musicians and great friends became Tángalo(a nonsense name coined from Tango and Tangled).

Owen, a flautist and guitarist, and Emily-Rose  do most of the arrangements for the group. They began trying to learn from listening and transcribing some of the great golden age masters such as Di Sarli and D’Arienzo and then arranging the parts for the quintet. Most of Tángalo’s earlier arrangements feature this style of arrangement.

Soon they realised however that arrangements needed to be tailored much more to their specific group of instruments. One violin and one accordion cannot produce the sounds of a handful of violins and bandoneons – like in so many of the old recordings to which tango dancers love to dance.  Although playing arrangements in the style of the great masters is a wonderful way to learn, they feel bringing fresh arrangements will help to keep Tango music in Sydney current and contemporary.

Tángalo’s main objective when they began was to play music which is beautiful to dance to. All members are now dancing Tango and their rehearsals often feature Emily-Rose dancing around the room to make sure the tempo, rhythm and accents feel good for dancing. For this reason they have been featured at many of the big dancing events in Sydney and further afield – such as B.A.S.H (Buenos Aires in the Southern Highlands), Tango in The Spring held in Canberra, ‘Sydney Tango’ Milongas and at Camelot Lounge’s fantastic new Tango nights.

Regarding their future development, a trip to Buenos Aires for artistic development is definitely planned and the recording of a first album. Emily-Rose is considering learning bandoneon and Spanish and has just start composing her very first original tango. Owen is learning the art of creating electro beats for future experimentation in electro-tango.

In the very near future they are working on an exciting collaboration with Belen Tango to create a tango show called ‘The Red Rose’ in February 2013 and they are very excited to be the official Tango band for the 2013 National Folk Festival in Canberra.

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