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Band World Folk


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The best kept secret in music


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Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Accordionist Chango Spasiuk’s Ukrainian grandparents immigrated to the Misiones province of Northeast Argentina in the late 19th century, bringing with them the accordion music and dances of Eastern Europe, particularly the schottische, polka, and waltz. In their new home they soon discovered an affinity for chamamé - an indigenous Guaraní term for a lighthearted dance, but also referring in Spanish to the enramada, a shaded patio protecting against the tropical sun, a place for entertainment and repose. Chamamé is a sprightly 6/8 genre first documented in the early 19th century - the first chamamé on a 78rpm disc was released by RCA in Buenos Aires in 1930.

Overshadowed by tango’s international status, chamamé, with its deep sense of swing, is not widely known outside Argentina. Nevertheless, Chango Spasiuk’s contribution to the revitalization of Argentine folk traditions can be compared to Astor Piazzolla’s signal influence on the development of tango. Born in Apóstoles, near the border with Brazil and Paraguay, Spasiuk is a leading contemporary exponent and innovator, having learned from his father, a violinist, and his uncle, a singer, following in the footsteps of Abitbol, Cocomarola, Martínez Riera, Montiel, and others.

While at home ‘El Chango’ is long considered the ‘guardian angel’ of chamamé, Spasiuk first caught international attention at WOMEX in Rotterdam in 2001, and has since become a favourite on the European touring circuit. A fiery and sensitive virtuoso on the accordion, he displays an audacity rarely seen with musicians of this genre. From a position of absolute openness and lack of prejudice, Spasiuk produces a rich mix of sound and rhythm, of light and shadow, where both legacy and synthesis, improvisation and composition, tradition and modernity play equal roles, making his music an intense listening experience that moves beyond boundaries of style and sound.

An exceptionally expressive performer, Spasiuk taps into a higher animating spirit, playing like a man possessed, visibly transported amidst the affecting swirl of the category defying resonance of his enchanted squeezebox. His rapt, dervish-like stage presence and his extraordinary ensemble make for a music of profound beauty and feeling. While his artistry articulates a deep sense of melancholy - so much a part of Argentine social history - it also conveys a resilient optimism before the tragic destination of all human endeavours.

Chango Spasiuk has released six solo albums in Argentina, among which the many-awarded ‘Polcas de mi Tierra’ (1999). With his first international release ‘Tarefero de mis Pagos’ (Piranha 2004) winning him a BBC Award for World Music (Best Newcomer 2005) as well as a Latin Grammy nomination in 2006, Chango is now fast building his international reputation with a steadily increasing touring schedule in Europe and beyond.
Definitely a name to watch!

“the best live concert this year” – Charlie Gillett, The Observer
“great artistry, virtuoso talents” – Chris Moss, Songlines