An Orchestra at Your Fingertips
SPONSORED BY TERRY E. GRANT
The bandoneon originated in Germany but has since become synonymous with the world of Argentinian tango, largely through the genius of the great Astor Piazzolla. Acclaimed performer and composer J. P. Jofre, who appeared at the 2019 Staunton Music Festival, talks about what makes this instrument so unique and rewarding. Jofre also performs an original new piece, Transcendence, in an accompanying video (click here).
A native of San Juan, Argentina, J. P. Jofre is an award-winning bandoneon player and composer. He has been repeatedly highlighted by The New York Times and praised as one of today’s leading artists by Great Performers at Lincoln Center. He has performed at Google Talks, TEDtalks, Juilliard and many other places around the world. For the world premiere of his Bandoneon Concerto, the Mercury News wrote that Jofre “is an electrifying composer-bandoneon player.” In 2012 Jofre was invited by the SudTirol Festival (Italy) to perform an homage to Argentinean Nobel Peace Prize winner, Adolfo Perez Esquivel. He currently leads the JP Jofre Quintet, touring internationally since the release of their album Manifiesto.
While spending the summer with friends and family in South Korea, Jofre recorded this video performance of an original composition, Transcendence. Inspired by the bandoneon's sacred origins, this brief solo work demonstrates the bandoneon's expressive and coloristic range.
J. P. Jofre (bandoneon) and Federico Diaz (guitar) deliver a compelling version of Jofre's Universe from the 2019 festival. Universe opens with an extended, improvistory cadenza for solo bandoneon before a rhythmically driven main theme.
The 2019 festival included a complete, semi-staged performance of Piazzolla's avant-grade tango-opera, Maria de Buenos Aires. Featuring vocalists Cecilia Duarte, Celeste Lanuza, and Octavio Moreno, along with J. P. Jofre, Federico Diaz, and SMF musicians.
Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla composed hundreds of adored tangos, but in the 1960s he also created a remarkable tango-opera, Maria de Buenos Aires. This fugue from Maria shows that Piazzolla's skills far exceeded simply writing dance music.
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