Monday, September 23, 2013

SPOTLIGHT: Pablo Ziegler - Tango Meets Jazz

This week, Resident Artistic Director and violinist Regina Carter presents Argentinian-pianist Pablo Ziegler and his Nuevo Tango Quartet. Ziegler toured and performed with the great tango maestro Astor Piazzolla in the composer’s last working decade. With Piazzolla, Ziegler helped spearhead the contemporary nuevo tango movement, which revitalized the traditional Argentinian music with elements of jazz and classical music.

Since Piazzolla's retirement in 1989, Ziegler has continued to push nuevo tango forward, implementing more and more from the jazz idiom into his own compositions and performances. Ziegler's efforts have certainly not gone unnoticed. His 2005 acclaimed album, Bajo Cero, earned a Latin Grammy Award. Splitting his time between Argentina and the U.S., Ziegler typically headlines the Tango Meets Jazz Festival in New York, where Regina Carter has joined as a featured guest. Carter remarked, “I really love playing with his group. It's very different stylistically for me. I'm not completely out of my element, but it's a challenge for me…and I always like to have a challenge. I always like to try something new.” Evident in Pablo Ziegler's jazzed arrangement of Piazzolla's iconic Libertango (below), both written parts and solos for violin in nuevo tango are indeed no easy task!

The challenge is well worth it, as Ziegler and Carter hone in on common ground between two sounds--between tango and jazz. Carter, speaking on her upcoming SFJAZZ residency, perhaps says it best: “My theme for the week is ‘Continuous Thread.’ We are all connected." As Ziegler and Carter will undoubtedly demonstrate on stage, this thread is as much between music as people.


The Pablo Ziegler Quartet featuring Regina Carter perform this Friday in Miner Auditorium at the SFJAZZ Center. For more information on Pablo Ziegler and Regina Carter's Residency, visit

**The SPOTLIGHT Series probes into the careers and unique, lesser-known aspects of the artists featured at the SFJAZZ Center.

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