Courtesy of the artist
In the 1950s, Astor Piazzolla became a pariah back home for his unconventional, complex tangos.
In the 1950s, Astor Piazzolla became a pariah back home for his unconventional, complex tangos. Courtesy of the artist
If Argentine composer and performer Astor Piazzolla didn't exist, the subgenre of "Nuevo Tango" — a mix of tango, classical and jazz — wouldn't, either, nor would this taster of accordion jazz. Piazzolla created a massive canon, influencing generations of bandoneon players after him, and he rejuvenated Argentina's greatest musical tradition and export.
However, it was Piazzolla's formative years in New York's Greenwich Village — soaking in the swing of the 1930s — that often informs his style, a jazzier sound he leaned to during his later years. Piazzolla personally touched the lives and music of four of the five artists featured below.