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a jazz and tango artist who traveled the avant-garde hand in hand with Piazzolla

a jazz and tango artist who traveled the avant-garde hand in hand with Piazzolla

At the age of 83, the guitarist and composer Oscar López Ruiz died this Friday, December 24, who was admitted to intensive care at the Güemes Sanatorium in critical condition, after spending the last days hospitalized as a result of a fourth of septicemia, according to reported his family.

His daughter Alejandra López Jascalevich reported on Wednesday 22, through her Facebook account: “I come to tell you that my father’s health is critical. I was hospitalized in intensive care for a picture of septicemia and he was intubated and his body is not responding to the treatments and his life is gone. We can only hope for the worst“Said his daughter.

This talented artist played for 25 years with Astor Piazzolla, as member of different proposals such as the Quinteto Nuevo Tango, Conjunto 9 and the Octeto Astor Piazzolla. López Ruiz also had an extensive career as a guitarist and a prominent arranger and composer within jazz and popular music.

Oscar López Ruiz Added His Distinctive Stamp To Jazz And Tango In Argentina.  Facebook

Oscar López Ruiz added his distinctive stamp to jazz and tango in Argentina. Facebook

An extensive trajectory

He participated in different groups and orchestras, along with musicians of the stature of Lalo Schifrin, Gato Barbieri, his brother Jorge López Ruiz, Buby Lavecchia, Sergio Mihanovich, Oscar Alemán, Baby López Fürst, Pichi Mazzei, Donna Caroll, Eladia Blázquez, Dino Saluzzi, Leopoldo Federico, Chico Novarro, Eduardo Lagos and the Zupay Quartet.

It was also artistic director of the Trova record label, between 1967 and 1969, time in which the recorder developed a historical catalog with the record editions of Piazzolla, Mono Villegas, Chico Novarro and Horacio Ferrer.

The guitarist also had an important activity as composer and soundtrack arranger for movies like The young old (1962), directed by Rodolfo Kuhn; The girl from monday (1967), by Leopoldo Torre Nilsson; The heirs (1970), by David Stivel; Y The revenge of Beto Sánchez (1973), by Héctor Olivera, among others.

This work was combined with around 35 magazine shows, between the Maipo and Astros theaters, among others.

His guitar style

As an instrumentalist, he was a creative guitarist in his harmonizations, flexible and with a plasticity that delicately combined with Piazzolla’s bandoneon, or as a ubiquitous, light and calm accompanist. His improvisations were sharply chiseled pieces that combined an open jazz spirit with a citizen sound that allowed him a unique, personal mode of expression.

His experience with Piazzolla was captured in an emotional diary about his experiences that he titled: Piazzolla, crazy, crazy, crazy: 25 years of work and shit living with a genius. Without a doubt, López Ruiz it is an indissoluble part of Piazzolla’s work, especially, in the break between the music of the bandoneon player and the tango tradition in the sixties.

The Book In Which Oscar López Ruiz Condensed His Experiences With Ástor Piazzolla.

The book in which Oscar López Ruiz condensed his experiences with Ástor Piazzolla.

The musician was born in La Plata on March 21, 1938. From the age of 13 he studied guitar with the teacher Antonio Sinópoli (1878-1964) and perfected himself with Hungarian pianist Bela Wilde, a disciple of Rachmaninoff.

In 1950 he moved to Buenos Aires and his professional debut was in 1954, with the Tony-Armand Orchestra, with electric guitar. Later, López Ruiz was a member of the Bop Club in Buenos Aires, where he would have met the pianist Lalo Schifrin, with whom he played. In the late fifties joined Los Cinco Latinos, a group with whom he toured Latin America.

Oscar López Ruiz, His Wife Donna Caroll And Their Daughter, Marisa Ini.  Photo Lorena Lucca

Oscar López Ruiz, his wife Donna Caroll and their daughter, Marisa Ini. Photo Lorena Lucca

At the request of his brother, the double bass player Jorge López Ruiz, Oscar joined Piazzolla’s Quinteto Nuevo Tango in 1961, as “titular soloist” filling the vacancy left by another great, Horacio Malvicino, until the dissolution of this project in 1967.

From that place, he participated in a series of works that were revolutionary within tango and what would later become the music of Buenos Aires, such as, for example, Piazzolla or not? Danceable or apiazolado (1961); Our time (1962), Contemporary tango Y Tango for a city, both released in 1963.

It was also part of the Concert at the Philharmonic Hall, from New York (1965), The tango (with texts by Jorge Luis Borges) with Edmundo Rivero in voice and Luis Medina Castro in reading, and History of Tango: Volume 1, The Old Guard Y Volume 2, The Romantic Era, both in 1967, in addition to Oblivion (1984), among others.

Oscar López Ruiz, Along With Astor Piazzolla And The 'Zurdo' Roizner, Behind At The Teatro Colón.

Oscar López Ruiz, along with Astor Piazzolla and ‘Zurdo’ Roizner, behind at the Teatro Colón.

When describing his experience with Piazzolla, López Ruíz stressed that “Ástor was complex, and he did not react to the events like anyone else.”

“He was a genius,” he explained in an interview, “and he had a keen sensitivity, a different reality. That could sometimes be misinterpreted, but being with Piazzolla for so many years was an enormous privilege. Astor took care of us, respected us and made us respect us. Let us remember that we were the ones he had chosen to carry out his work, which in the sixties represented a very tough fight ”.

“Anyway, I never laughed as much as when we were on tour. We were close friends at one time. He liked jokes and practical jokes. Now, he had no bad temper with us; had a hard time relating to the mediocre”Added the guitarist.

Inseparable, Oscar López Ruiz Married Donna Caroll In 1966 And Since Then They Have Shared Life And Music.  Photo Clarín Archive

Inseparable, Oscar López Ruiz married Donna Caroll in 1966 and since then they have shared life and music. Photo Clarín Archive

In addition, and above all, since 1966 Oscar López Ruíz was the historical companion, both in music and in life, of his wife, the singer Donna Caroll, until his death, which occurred on March 31, 2020, at the age of 80.


Reference from clarin