Tango y más: A Sunday Matinee with Daniel Monserrat

Imagine yourself in a smoky Buenos Aires cafe late one Friday night, listening to the sound of tango music being provided by a familiar, local duo. It may be a little hard to do on a sultry Sunday afternoon, sitting by the San Antonio River — but that’s the image that came to my mind as I closed my eyes and enjoyed the music provided by Daniel Monserrat.

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Great entertainment? You bet! Something a little different and totally unexpected. Why is this so?

Monserrat’s entertainment format has a distinctly Latin American flavor. He and his percussionist play a variety of songs — from tango to pop — a few at a time. Since their instruments consist of a guitar and a basic drum kit (without bass drum), they rely on a recorded rhythm track to back up their combo, a common practice amongst entertainers of this sort. Every few songs, they take a short break while playing a pop tune on the sound system. And I have a feeling they could go on performing this way into the wee hours of the morning.

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This makes for a unique form of entertainment, at least in this corner of the world. We’re used to musicians playing a 40-minute set, followed by a 20-minute break — usually 3 sets total. I would have to say that the format provided by Monserrat provides for a superior entertainment experience. The whole audience seemed disappointed by the relative brevity of the concert — a Sunday matinee, if you will.

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Regardless, the audience loved it. By the end of the concert, several folks were dancing to the pop tunes still being played, oblivious to the fact that they band was already tearing down their equipment. Let the musicians play longer if they want!

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We will be back for this concert series next summer. And you should be there, too. Bring a blanket, a bottle of chilled wine, and some munchies. Then lie back, enjoy the breeze, and be prepared for some great entertainment.

To view the complete album, click here.

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