In a country that has so many native dance traditions, WHY does Colombia Love Tango? This isn’t a surface love like American music or Euro-Pop, this is deeper.

Let’s take a look into the history and even a strangely eerie coincidence!

Why Does Colombia Love Tango?

The capital of tango is Medellin. A city where Carlos Gardel was on tour before his untimely death in a plane crash. His plane collided with a flight from Manizales (so very ironic), in June of 1935. His footprint can be seen on the Avenida Gardel (La 45) at a museum named Casa Gardeliana. It has been declared a heritage site where visitors can learn about the life of Gardel and tango in Colombia. 

“Mis Flores Negras” is a Pasillo (Colombian Folk) which was written by Colombian poet Julio Florez, then sung and recorded by Carlos Gardel in 1933.

Other options in Medellin include places like Homero Manzi (See Cover Picture) – a traditional corner bar with a fun atmosphere to sit, listen and absorb the feeling of tango. Dance options include Salon Malaga and Patio del Tango.

For more information or to plan your own personalized Tango workshop and tour, contact us as coffeeaxistravel@gmail.com.

Tango in Manizales

The living legacy of tango is Manizales, Caldas. It’s a small city in the coffee axis which lives and breathes tango. It even has the ONLY “Calle del Tango” or tango street, in the world. Locals here still talk about the death of Gardel, and other tango stars who visited or lived here. They are purists in the sense that, in most tango bars you will only hear the original classics of tango.

Why Does Colombia Love Tango

Mama Bertha

One of the most celebrated figures of tango in Manizales, is Mama Bertha. As a child she surprised her parents by teaching herself to dance tango, and became a lifelong aficionado and lover of the Argentinian Rhythms.

Her love for the classics of tango became responsible for bringing many famous tango orchestras and singers to Manizales. Her home was the informal hostal where these singers, orchestras and dancers came to stay when in the City of Open Doors.

One of her closest friends was the singer Armando Moreno from Argentina who lived with her for more than 10 years. In her lifetime she helped to found many businesses which generated employment and appreciation for the classics of tango in Manizales.

Her death was a major event as she was well known and much loved in the city by Colombians and the Argentinians who came to live there. Her ashes rest next to those of Armando Moreno in the crypt of the Catedral Basilica of the main plaza of the city.

Tango Nuevo and Strange Coincidences Involving Colombia

Tango Nuevo is the new generation of tango which began with Astor Piazzolla – who happened to know Gardel in his youth.

Piazzolla, also of Argentina, was forbidden to go on tour with Gardel in 1935 in Colombia by his father due to his young age. The unfortunate demise of Gardel, and the absence of Piazzolla on that journey, ensured the rebirth of tango music in the modern era. A very strange coincidence.

Tango player and composer for most of his life, Astor Piazzollas music reached it’s peak in the 1980’s. It was during this decade that he started to become a more mainstream figure in the world of tango music. His unique approach, deep vibes, and euphoric compas’ helped to breathe new life into a dying art.

Of course a purist would probably disagree with my previous statement, saying that the classics of tango are to be revered and cherished above all. But, something about Soledad moves this writer each time I listen to it. It stirs me, evokes a deep feeling of emotion, and brings me softly to the ground with it’s dark undertones. I love it for its intense passion, the somber depths, and smooth finishes.

Conclusion

Whether you are a veteran of tango, or a newbie dipping their toe in the pond, Colombia is an important part of tango history.

Visitors can experience tango several different bars and dancehalls of Medellin. Dance it on the Calle del Tango of Manizales. Or, try Bogota and Cali, which also have large and dedicated tango followings although not as notable as the two cities previously mentioned.

For more information or to learn more about Tango in Manizales, click here. Or, email us at coffeeaxistravel@gmail.com for more information.

We also offer specialized intensive workshops in cities like Medellin, Cali and Bogota!

Sources:

Colombia Me Gusta: https://www.colombiamegusta.com/tango-colombia-una-historia-dejo-huella/

https://www.eltiempo.com/cultura/musica-y-libros/muerte-de-carlos-gardel-en-medellin-234504

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astor_Piazzolla

https://www.lapatria.com/sabatina/los-tangueros-se-quedaron-huerfanos-14487