Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Les Loups in Rio de Janeiro (1926-27)

It is known that Les Loups went on tour in Brazil before arriving to Buenos Aires in 1927. The duo had its professional debut in Rio de Janeiro 1926 performing as Hawaiian guitarists, but until recently the exact dates and locations of the duo's performance haven't been known, nor has the reception by the Brazilian public been mentioned before. However, thanks to the research by Jorge Carvalho de Mello we can now add some details about this matter.

A couple of years ago (September, 2010) de Mello published his first findings at his blog, which we referenced in a small entry here. Some months ago (August 2012) de Mello had a new entry at his blog adding more details in his article "A TEMPORADA DO DUO LES LOUPS NO RIO DE JANEIRO". However, in the meantime his blog has now been deleted, but I was fortunate to make a copy of the text (- in Portuguese) before the blog suddently had disappeared. I think it's appropiate to save this information - especially as it is not available elsewhere any longer and - as far as I know - has not been mentioned by other sources researching the early career of Oscar Alemán. Below I'll summarize the research by de Mello to have it available here at our blog, at least.
The sources of de Mello's research of Les Loups in Rio are newspaper ads, reviews, theather programs and posters from the years 1926-27.

- The first mentioning of Les Loups is dated 7. September, 1926 in the theater column of the 07/09/1926 Gazette, that has the headline 'Duo havaiano' and states - quote (my English translation:)" After showing in theaters in S Paulo and Santos, the duo Les Loups is currently in Rio.The two extraordinary guitarists are our native Gaston Bueno Lobo and Oscar Moreira. In S Paulo, where they were welcomed with sympathy by the public, the duo performed a show at the Apollo in favor of the Brazilian Press Association. They are shortly going to present themselves to the public in Rio." It's worth noticing that the duo is presented by the name Les Loups and apparently already had a successful performance in São Paulo before arriving in Rio de Janeiro - the duo is caracterized as 'extraordinary guitarists' and is 'velcomed with sympathy' by the attending public in the Apollo theater of São Paulo. Further research revealed according to de Mello, that Les Loups had been performing in São Paulo in the month of June between 3 and 18 with the Company Brandão / Palmeirim in the Apollo theater. After the performaces in São Paulo, de Mello adds, it seems likely that the duo also has been present in the city of Santos and then went to Rio de Janeiro.

In Rio, the duo is performing at the Cine Theatro Central sharing stage with other artists in October 1926. The theater is a cinema with both live acts on stage and on-screen movie performance, common of the time . Les Loups are announced performing 12, 16 and 17 October together with vaudeville artists, acrobats, an opera singer and trained dogs (!). On the 15 October, the duo is mentioned in a program announcing live broadcast at Radio Club, a local radio station, which has a transmission of 'light music by Orchestra of the Radio Club and Les Loups, guitarristas hawayanos'. On the 20. October, the Radio Club has another transmission featuring Les Loups. The duo is back on stage at Cine Theatro Central on 26. October, this is the last presentation of Les Loups in Rio anno 1926 according to de Mello's research.

1927 was a special year in Brazilian popular music, a sponsored national contest among Rio de Janeiro guitarists was mobilizing the public through intense propaganda, new names were taking the stage and already established musicians were challenged. In this intense atmosphere the Les Loups duo continued to perform in movie theaters of Rio. The duo is presented on 25. January together with Companhia Juvenal Fontes, February and March have no trace of Les Loups, but in April the duo is back, now presented at Cine Teatro Glória on 18 and 19 April. The critics heaped praise on the duo's presentations according to de Mello's source, quote (my English translation): the duo " Sparked endless applause from the audience, the songs performed on acoustic guitar [were] so really masterful for two rare performers". - The success with the Carioca public continued during the Portuguese week at Cine Odeon, on the 24. April Les Loups are on stage, again with other artists, at this occasion performing Portuguese fado music gaining applause from the audience and praise from the critics, stating: (quote my English translation) "Les Loups, these extraordinary guitarists who are working with the Company Tangara, played several fados, charming".

In July, there was arranged a show as a tribute to the accomplishment of Brazilian aviation after the first plane had crossed the Atlantic Ocean. The show was presented on 8. July with the participation of a variety of artists, among them were Les Loups. The ex-president of the Repulic attended the show that included a spectacle or play, which had gained success already during a theater performance on June 21 also including Les Loups accompanying some of the participating actors/artists.

In August, the duo is back at Cine Theatro Central from 2. August and stays there throughout the month, again appearing with success onstage alongside other artists including acrobats, dancers and tap dancers.

On August 15th, Les Loups are taking part in another major event in Rio, where many artists were mobilized to produce a great spectacle whose income was allocated for the purchase of a bust of the impresario J.Stampa. Les Loups participated alongside several famous Brazilian popular guitarists of the time. - The last mentioning of Les Loups in 1927 was found in a notice announcing a party on September 29th, where the duo participated as part of the arranged performance.
Thanks to the reseach by Jorge Carvalho de Mello we may now conclude that Les Loups had success in Rio de Janeiro from September 1926 to September 1927, a year when several performances and public events in Rio exposed various artists but also left a significant impression of the remarkable artistry of the Les Loups duo on the Carioca public and critics. As a previously untold story of the early career of Oscar Alemán, this information is crucial in understanding the later success of Les Loups in both Buenos Aires and Europe.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tribute to Oscar Alemán

Presence and concentration, adding broadcasting hours (Archivo Iacona)( Tributo a Oscar Alemán)

Last month José and Estanislao Iacona  published their father’s  life’s work, dedicated to the popular Argentine guitar player of the 1940s and 1950s. The
book is entitled Tributo a Oscar Alemán and is published in the Spanish, English and French language by Whitefly.

Tributo a Oscar Aleman ( español)  - Tribute to Oscar Alemán (English) - Eerbetoon aan Oscar Alemán (Nederlands)

 The book  Tributo a Oscar Alemán (ISBN: 978-987-23688-4-5)
The book has six chapters which cover Alemán’s musical career, starting as a kid singing and dancing in their family folk ensemble Los Moreira, his close cooperation with Gaston Bueno Lobo ( as Les Loups and Trio Victor); his European years with the Baker Boys and his return to Argentina, early 1940s, where he started a great career, which ended late 1950s.  That chapter is called Del estrellato al abismo ( =  From stardom to ruin ….). In Chapter 5 the period of the two last decades of Alemán’s live, in which he “emerged from the ashesrenarces de las cenizas, as the authors label it; it is the period, Guillermo Iacona, who started to write down his memories, remembers Oscar Alemán best. Chapter 6 is fully dedicated to the period in which Guillermo met Oscar Alemán and took music lessons from him ……  The book ends with some recollections by Jorgelina Alemán, Oscar’s granddaughter, who followed in her grandfathers footsteps.  The book ends with a discography and a filmography.

 Guillermo José Iacona and his Repiso guitar ( Archivo Iacona)

Guillermo José Iaconna started this tribute to Oscar Alemán only a couple of years ago, although I remember that he has been always excited in his letters and emails to me, about the time he had lessons by the great guitar player and entertainer Oscar Alemán and the three concerts he participated. Making the book was his dream! When he started it, years ago, he informed us  at set times about the process.  Alemán widow Carmen Vallejo remembers Guillermo: El era música  (= He was all music). Jorgelina tells about Guillermo as ………… .una persona de una gran calidad humana, quién de algún modo quedó cautivado por el artista y el ser, de una sensibilidad única, que era mi abuelo. ( = As a  wonderful human being, who was captivated by the artist and man of enormous sensibility who was my grandfather.) 
Guillermo passed away before he could finish the book, but due to his sons José and Estanislao the book, the life work of their father, could be published, with the kind support of the Governor of the province of Chaco where Oscar was born more than  a century ago.

The book is well designed and especially the dozens of rare photographs make the book a must-have for all Oscar Alemán fans …….  The type page is in three columns, one in the Spanish -, one in the English - and one in the French language, which makes the book easy to handle for most jazz fans all over the world ………… a book which will find its place in both Europe as in Argentina …….

Oscar Alemán in the 1970s ( Edítorial Atlántico)

I hope to refer often to this book in blogs dedicated to El Negro,  Oscar Alemán and point you to untold stories and information which has been published now. This book is an important source, due to the fact that the info is also available in  English for all student or jazz fan which study the music and career of Oscar Alemán.

The book can be ordered at its website Tributo a Oscar Alemán 

This blog is also available in the Spanish and Dutch language 

Hans Koert

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Tributo a Oscar Alemán

Estampa y concentración, sumando horas de aire (Archivo Iacona)( Tributo a Oscar Alemán)

 El último mes José y Estanislao Iacona publicaron el trabajo de su padre Guillermo, la obra de su vida dedicada al popular guitarrista argentino de los 40s y 50s. El libro se titula "Tributo a Oscar Alemán" y está publicado en español, inglés y francés por Whitefly.

Tributo a Oscar Aleman español)  - Tribute to Oscar Alemán (English) - Eerbetoon aan Oscar Alemán (Nederlands)
 El libro (ISBN: 978-987-23688-4-5)
El libro contiene seis capítulos que abarcan la carrera musical de Alemán, comenzando cuando era un niño cantando y bailando en el conjunto folklórico de su familia Los Moreira, su vínculo cercano con Gastón Bueno Lobo (como Les Loups y Trio Victor): sus años en Europa con los Baker Boys y su regreso a la Argentina en los comienzos de los años 40, donde comenzó una gran carrera, que finalizó a finales de los años 50. Ese capítulo se titula "Del estrellato al abismo". En el capítulo 5 se analiza el período que abarca dos décadas de la vida de Alemán en la cual "emergió de las cenizas", como lo definió el escritor Guillermo Iacona, que comenzó a escribir sus memorias en la época que mejor recuerda. El capítulo 6 está dedicado a la época en la cual Guillermo conoció a Oscar Alemán y tomó lecciones de música de él..... El libro finaliza com algunos recuerdos de Jorgelina Aleman, la nieta de Oscar, que siguió los pasos de sus abuelos. El libro finaliza con una discografía y filmografía de Oscar Alemán.

 Guillermo José Iacona y su guitarra Repiso ( Archivo Iacona)

Guillermo José Iacona comienza este tributo a Oscar Alemán un par de años atrás, aunque recuerdo que siempre estuvo entusiasmado en sus cartas y correos electrónicos que me mandaba, acerca de la época en que tomó lecciones del gran guitarrista y animador Oscar Alemán y los tres conciertos en que participó. Hacer el libro fué un sueño, cuando lo comenzó, años atrás, nos tenía al tanto acerca de su evolución. La esposa de Alemán Carmen Vallejo recuerda a Guillermo: El era todo música. Jorgelina recuerda a Guillermo como "...una persona de una gran calidad humana, quién de algún modo quedó cautivado por el artista y el ser, de una sensibilidad única, que era mi abuelo. 
Guillermo falleció antes que pudiera terminar el libro, pero debido a sus hijos José y Estanislao, el libro, la obra de su vida, pudo finalizarse. El libro pudo publicarse gracias a la colaboración de la gobernación del Chaco, provincia donde Oscar nació más de 100 años atrás.

El libro está bien diseñado y especialmente las docenas de raras fotografías hacen a este libro imprescindible para todos los fanáticos de Oscar. El texto está encolumnado en español, ingles y francés, lo que lo hace sumamente sencillo para ser leído por los seguidores de Oscar en todo el mundo... un libro que será bien recibido en Europa y Argentina.
Oscar Alemán: en la decade del 70 ( Edítorial Atlántico)
Espero continuar refiriéndome mas adelante al libro, en varios blogs que están dedicados a Oscar Alemán, a medida que nuevas anécdotas y nueva información se publique, importante para todos aquellos seguidores que estudian la música y carrera de Oscar Alemán.

Este libro puede ser comprado en su website Tributo a Oscar Alemán 

This blog will be published in English as Tribute a Oscar Alemán .. en in het Nederlands als Eerbetoon aan Oscar Alemán

Hans Koert
traducción Luis Contijoch