In our own way we all have an idea of what tango is, even if that comes down to stockings, stilettos and men rocking enough hair gel to fill the Río de la Plata. But an independent revolution’s going on in Buenos Aires and the protagonists want to shout it from their barrio’s rooftops. Tango’s not a crop, it’s culture and it’s not just for export.
In the booming Argentina of the 1920s, the hip place to look to for ideas if you were an artist or intellectual was mother Europe. Jazz had just become all the rage over there, and hence arrived in Argentina not via the United States, but rather from the likes of Paris, London and Berlin. As the ‘new’ music began to take off in Buenos Aires in the ‘30s, it met with some resistance from certain quarters who viewed it as too foreign, and a threat to traditional types of music such as folklore and tango.