“Hailing from the La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Blue Tango Project is a ground-breaking exploration of the emotional and musical crossroads where tango and the blues embrace. It is a collaboration between Argentine Latin grammy nominee Maria Volonté and California harmonica player Kevin Carrel Footer.” -Blue Tango Project website
Maria and Kevin shared an eclectic window into their lives as artists. They spoke about the history of the blues and tango, addressing how slavery and immigration shaped the musical genres. They went on to share how their diverse backgrounds came together to create the Blue Tango Project. Kevin learned how to play the harmonica “while hitchhiking across the United States,” while Maria was steeped in Tango music from her native Argentina.
Kevin stated, “Tango is a form of nostalgia, a sad melancholy, blues is about suffering, the idea is to connect the two low points in order to celebrate life in all its richness.” Maria added, “People suffer for the same reasons and are happy for the same reasons.”
In addition to playing music, Kevin and Maria also fielded questions from our students in Spanish. They shared information about everything from their favorites songs, to their special places to visit in Argentina, to how they met.
Maria and Kevin typically tour for half of the year, traveling all over the United States and Europe, meeting a wide range of people along the way. They enjoy collecting stories and images from the individuals and communities that they encounter. Touring has taught Kevin “how little you need in terms of material items to be happy.”
Special thanks to Spanish teacher Alison Trujillo and Kevin’s sister Patrice Lovato (and Hamlin parent) for bringing the Blue Tango Project to Hamlin.
For more information about the Blue Tango Project, please visit: http://www.bluetangoproject.com
To watch clip from the live performance at Hamlin please visit: