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Four Women Who Created a Unique Tango Vocal Group in the World

With 26 years of experience, Flores Negras remains the only female civilian music vocal group in Argentina, named after Francisco de Caro’s Tango. He presented his album in the midst of a pandemic damn tango With great effect via streaming, but now it’s time to do it in person at the Bebop Club in Palermo, Wednesday, June 29.

It is a weekday and it is already noon in San Telmo. Three members of Flores Negras with a cup of hot coffee at the table of the colorfully remarkable bar El Hipopotamo, as winter hits hard and is here to stay for several months in Buenos Aires.

Laura Ases, Cecilia Bonardi and Laura Hatton from Flores Negras.  photo lucia merle

Laura Ases, Cecilia Bonardi and Laura Hatton from Flores Negras. photo lucia merle

Laura Aces, Cecilia Bonardi and Laura Hatton arrived a little before they agreed. Alejandra Canoni, for her part, warned in advance that she had another commitment. However, one word belongs to everyone throughout this interview.

a successful streaming

“There was no opportunity to meet during the pandemic, so we had a Zoom meeting. When we did streaming, it was brand new. We put a lot of energy into that concert because we didn’t want everything to look the same”, recalls Cecilia, one of the founders of this tango vocal adventure.

Sitting next to Cecilia is Laura Aces. He nods to his partner and says: “We had prepared another new performance: the launch of an album dedicated to Astor Piazzola. We always release songs that will be part of the following, it’s a normal way for us “.

On the other side sits Laura Hatton, who doesn’t take long to contribute her gaze. “It’s difficult to record a group with our features in a home studio. The voices, tuning and filling force us to be in a good studio, responsive to the proposal of our artistic directors and musical arrangers, Diego Villa and Oscar Laguera. To be attentive.

First stage

Flores Negras, a unique tango group.  photo lucia merle

Flores Negras, a unique tango group. photo lucia merle

The amazing thing is that they are the only female tango vocal group, even after so many years of experience, which is an original idea within the scene, especially when they appeared in the late 90s.

“It was an astonishing experience. We take a traditional repertoire. There were two breakdowns: first, one that deals with the voices, and also that we’re four women playing it. The scene was women at the time. But seeing was not so common, added to the fact that we were young,” says Cecilia of the group’s origins.

Giving more context to the beginning, the singer adds something she thinks helped a lot: “The first to open the doors for us were Horacio Ferrer and Ben Molaro, Tango Academy supported us. Ferrer told us we liked what he did beyond the fact that we included his explanations. He invited us to sing in Esquina Homero Manzi. Susannah Rinaldi too supported us. We were afraid of not being accepted, but our faith was clear.”

One of the leading tango singers with whom they lived an unforgettable experience was none other than melita baltari: “She came to a show and we didn’t know she was coming, we found out five minutes ago,” describes Laura Essen.

He continues: “He was sitting in the front row. When we sang the song, he would make loud positive comments, until he said to us: ‘Well, girls!’ ballad for a lunatic And she got up on stage and asked for a microphone; which happened in Taconnado”.

Black flowers with Amelita Balter.

Black flowers with Amelita Balter.

However it was not only dedicated artists with a long career that propelled Flores Negras: another pope was a famous bandonist. Ruben JuarezWhom they keep indelible memories.

“Black was everything. We sing at his Café Homero. He was our artistic godfather to the release of the first album. We were always guests of his songs. He was fascinated by what we did, it sounded different, challenging. Since there are no female tango groups from a vocal point of view, we try to honor them”, highlights Essen.


Flores Negras Tango Group.  photo lucia merle

Flores Negras Tango Group. photo lucia merle

“I come from a tango family. Mine was jazz and rock, I was born in San Telmo, I had never sung tango before. When I started rehearsing with the group, I thought: ‘I’ll be here as a performer, I’m at River Plate’. Immediately it made me tremble in a different way”, Cecilia revealed about her debut in Two-Four.

While Essen maintains that he also landed in tango territory without intention at first: “I come from folklore, my father listened to tango, and my grandfather sang ‘Yo soy la morocha’; I’ve always worked with female singers.” Sung songs. Being here is a tribute to him. From 18 to 30 I sang in the National Youth Club. At 22, Cecilia called me audit In black flowers.

According to her, the group’s founder Alejandra took part in vocals and had already had a great past tour at the vocal level, but the case of Laura Hatton, the last to be involved in the proposal, is perhaps the most striking.

“I never sang tango except in a Buenos Aires 8. When I was a girl, my parents listened to jazz. Thanks to Piazzola I became interested; I approached jazz and Brazilian. Later, Pugliese and Anibal Troilo. I went back and forth to learn tango until I met Carlos Gardel”, says the singer, who At the same time he made an important move through the rock with Patricio Rey and his redonditos de ricotta.,

that recording on disc Fiction! With Redondos, Hatton remembers it as if it happened last week.

“He rehearsed on the roof of Skye Beilinson’s house, on Calle Solar; He had a room there. It was kind of small. They played with my husband, Rodolfo Gorosito. Then I attended a rehearsal and Indio Solari asked me: ‘What comes to your mind in this part of the song?’ That’s what happened and I was lucky to record in Fiction! I also worked with Marilina Ross, I also played the tambura”, synthesizes the singer.

friendly people

black flowers

black flowers

Tango figures by his side were transcendent for Flores Negras in his early years, but public support was undoubtedly important.

“It’s not like we were the only four young people who sang tango, but the public was big at the time. We got feedback from different people, because not only did the tango audience come, but it was diverse. As it was somewhat vocal , an ambiguous public began to appear, non-Tangueros enjoying a relaxed proposition”, reviews Cecilia as time passes.

Laura Hatton agrees with her partner and adds her reasoning: “There are people who enter tango for vocal reasons. Actually, that’s what happened to me. We cover different generations, in fact I’m the oldest But we can all agree on a love of vocal music, even though we come from different experiences.”

While Essen says the challenge is the same for all four of them, Cecilia mentions the complexity of the project. “To renew everything, the arranger’s chief is fundamental, he thinks about the role of each for a certain song. Then you have to learn it, test it and perfect it. Take your own process. “

In addition, the singer highlights the difference between a soloist and a vocal group: “Here we are many, we associate each one in its place. It takes maturity, arrangements are complicated, there are tensions in harmony. Our arranger always tells us when we’ve done it, it’s like singing Kheer”, she remarks, and then the three laughed in unison.


Hatton believes that each person relies on their own practices outside the group. “In my case, I capture difficult passages of a song. I go to the piano with sheet music and I think: ‘Nothing is coming.’ I’m agile with that too. If we want to end up like this, we have to work on the technique.”

And then he says: “You have to work up to the projection of the lips, the breath. Take care that the melody doesn’t get lost in the throes of harmony.”

In return, the artist confesses that “a nice drink of whiskey or cognac gives me the strength and security to go out and sing”.

Cecilia, in turn, highlights the value and contribution of Edgardo Acuna, who accompanies him on guitar. “He has his training, he’s a great tango. Rodolfo Gorosito recorded on the album and now Edgardo is the one who makes the proposal. The truth is that his contributions affect the strength of the group.”

Regarding her preparation method, Cecilia insists on drinking at least two liters of water the night before the concert.

Relations with other orchestras

Unlike other tango groups that are part of the great wave that occurred in the late 1990s, Flores Negras says they never went around the same circuit.

“It didn’t happen to us. It’s that our point is to pay attention, to listen, instead many of them lend themselves to orchestras so that the masses dance. We are a vocal quartet. Our public is not just to see but to hear. more interested”, analyzes Cecilia.

Essen, for its part, points to the following: “It’s not that you can’t dance because we direct it, but that ours is more theatrical; we’re more for the stage. There are many young people who They also come to ask us whether we teach singing.

In regards to living purely and exclusively with tango, each one reveals their own reality. Cecilia reveals that she is also a psychologist. Laura Essen is dedicated to music and on the other hand is a sign language interpreter. Hatton is a music teacher and was a sessions player for many years. Alejandra, unlike her peers, is a music therapist.

“She works in a school for the blind. Once, in memory of Saint Cecilia, he invited us to sing libertango And the blind boys played instruments. It was awesome! Their faces of joy, their brilliance, their gratitude. How we cried with emotion!” Cecilia emerges with a happy face.

What advice do you give to young people who want to experience music through a vocal group?

Hatton: To gain an ear I recommend being part of a choir, it’s like playing in a team: they propel themselves, they group, they go from here to there.

Essay: -Enjoy learning. And that they care about who they want to go with. It happened to us that there were some teachers who left us with doubts. He who instructs must be loving above all things; Emotion is extremely important.

Cecilia :- Today’s youth vibrate differently than tango, have fun and offer modern arrangements. There’s even an all-girl orchestra. Finally today women can occupy places that were previously exclusive to men. that’s the way!

INFO: Flores Negras will be presented Wednesday, June 29 at Bebop Club, Uriarte 1658, CABA at 9:00 PM.


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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com

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