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Musicality Workshops + "Potluck" Milonga in Ojai:  July 2016


Master Musician

Dancer / Composer / Professor

Orquesta Leader

Joaquín Amenábar

from Buenos Aires —

Two World-Renowned Musicality Workshops

#1:  "Melody as a Rhythmic Element in Tango"

— and —

#2:  "Syncopation in Tango"

Two 90-Minute Workshops — Both with "Live" Bandoneón + Recorded Music

Monday - July 4, 2016    —    2:00 - 5:00 pm

— in the Gallery in the Ojai Art Center —

$25 / one Workshop           $40 / both Workshops

And after Joaquín's Workshops, please stay on for ...

A Holiday "Potluck" Milonga

6:00 - 10:00 pm

Food, Friends, Tango, Celebration + More "Live Music"

— All in Ojai, at Gary + Dominique's lovely "East End" home—

Musicality Workshops with Joaquín Amenábar

Widely celebrated as a "modern master of the bandoneón," Joaquín Amenábar is a multi-faceted and supremely talented "Renaissance Man of Tango" — performer, orquesta leader, composer, arranger, music professor, writer, historian, lecturer, instrument tuner + technician.

Perhaps even more significant for us is Joaquín's own background as an active social tango dancer — an interest that has blended with his own deep knowledge of musical performance, history and composition, leading him to investigate a number of challenges that many of us face as tango dancers:

  • If we do not have the benefit of formal music training then ...
  • How can we as tango dancers take in, process + respond to the many layers, subtlties + nuances of tango music ...
  • In ways that help us create, discover + explore our own unique dance more effectively ...
  • And then share it with each other as we improvise together on the social dance floor ...?

The result is Joaquín's unique and highly innovative program on Musicality for Tango Dancers ...

In development for more than ten years, Joaquín has presented his celebrated Musicality Workshops world wide since 2009. Earlier this year he traveled + taught in Europe for three months, and his upcoming North American tour includes visits to Los Angeles, Chicago, Santa Cruz, Champaign/Urbana ... and Ojai.

For a preview of Joaquín playing "live," follow this link to youtube video+ his solo of
"Hotel Victoria" at the 2013 Sydney Tango Salon Festival in Australia.

More on Joaquín's Musicality Workshops in Ojai:

  • Appropriate for All Levels of dancers.

    By design, the Workshops are fully accessible to beginners + newcomers ... while at the same time, they are challenging + informative to more experienced dancers.

  • Aimed at dancers.

    The Workshops are not "lectures" on music theory or history — we will be on our feet and moving most of the time.

  • No partner required.

    The primary emphasis will be on individual work — moving in time with particular sounds, aspects, elements, and features of the music.

  • No special training or background in music is necessary.

    The Workshops are "non-theoretical" — Joaquín uses common everyday language, clear metaphors, and unique visual aids to enhance our investigations.

  • Both "live" and recorded Tango music.

    In addition to narrating our guided listening + movement to "Golden Age" classics, Joaquín will play live on his bandoneón to help illustrate + highlight key features of the music.

  • No "steps" or patterns.

    The concepts, processes + examples explored are universally applicable in all Tango situations that we encounter as both Leaders + Followers — useful for everything from "simple" walking + turns ... to the most intricate + complex combinations that we might create on the improvised social dance floor.

In addition to music and tango, Joaquín is very fluent in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese, which allows him to communicate directly to dancers all over the world in their native tongue.

Joaquín is also the author of Bailemos con la Música!, a unique book / CD / DVD resource for dancers interested in expanding their ear, deepening their musical understanding, and enhancing their ability to improvise with confidence on the social dance floor.

The English language version of this project, Let's Dance to the Music!, will be available for purchase by dancers during our evening with Joaquín in Ojai ...

Overview:  Joaquín Amenábar - Musicality Workshops



Monday — July 4th, 2016



Ojai Art Center - in the Gallery - 113 S. Montgomery, Ojai

Workshop  #1:


  2:00 - 3:30 p.m. - Melody as a Rhythmic Element

Workshop  #2:


  3:30 - 5:00 p.m. - Syncopation in Tango






$25 / Dancer for One Workshop


$40 / Dancer for Both Workshops


"All Levels" Workshops

— Newer + More Experienced Dancers Both Welcome —

Click here for Driving Directions to the Ojai Art Center ...

Coming to Ojai for an overnight ...?  Click here for info on local accommodations.

Following the afternoon Musicality Workshops with Joaquín ...

Please — Stay on in Ojai + join us for:

A Holiday "Potluck" Milonga

— where All the "Fireworks" will be on the Dance Floor ...




Monday — July 4th — 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.


... immediately following Joaquín's afternoon workshops



Gary + Dominique's lovely "East End" home ...


  2661 Ladera Road, Ojai *

      Starting at Ladera + Thacher Road, we will post signs showing the way through the groves, gates + bridges up to Gary + Dom's

This will be a "Potluck" Milonga ...

— Please plan on bringing a Dish to Share, "picnic" style —


* Parking is Very Limited — All Dancers are Strongly Encouraged to Carpool !


Joaquín will join us at the "Potluck" Milonga for Food, Dancing + Celebration ...

— and he will play "live" for us during the evening on his bandoneón —


More About Joaquín Amenábar


  • As a musician, in the last two decades Joaquín has played dozens of festivals and hundreds concerts — interpreting tango classics as well as baroque, classical, romantic, contemporary and fokloric music all around the world.
  • As an orquesta leader, Joaquín was the musical director and first bandoneón of the “Orquesta Típica de la Guardia Vieja” in Buenos Aires, a 10-member ensemble that recreated the classic sound, sensibility and arrangements of tango's "Golden Age."
  • As an educator, Joaquín teaches bandoneón at the University of Buenos Aires, the Superior Conservatory of Music in BsAs, and the Folk Music School of Avellaneda ...
  • As a tanguero, Joaquín has been improvising on Tango's social dance floor since 1994 ...


        Joaquín playing "live" in a Musicality Workshop

Joaquín y su Orquesta Típica de la Guardia Vieja
Joaquín repairing + tuning a bandoneón
in his home workshop

More Links for Joaquín Amenábar

Joaquín Playing Live on the Bandoneón

Youtube video of Joaquín soloing on the bandoneón at the 2013 Syndey Tango Salon Festival in Australia.

The song is "Hotel Victoria" ... and to get a better idea of what you're hearing, compare Joaquín's version to this one by the orquesta of Francisco Canaro.

Joaquín's Website + Book on Tango Musicality

More background, bio, links, and information on "Let's Dance To the Music!" — Joaquín's book / CD / DVD package that outlines his unique approach to musicality for Tango dancers — an excellent way to continue studying Tango musicality at your own pace.

Joaquín plans to bring a few copies with him + make them available to Ojai Workshop dancers on Monday.

Pictures from Joaquín's 2015 visit to Ojai

Last year, 25 dancers joined us in Ojai for Joaquín's Musicality Workshops ... and while pictures can surely only tell "part of the story" for any tango workshop — especially one focused on musicality — these images may give you a better sense of Joaquín's "hands on" way of sharing his insights with fellow dancers.

Joaquín's Musicality Workshops in Los Angeles, July 9 + 10, 2016

Following his visit to Ojai this year, Joaquín will offer a series of Musciality Workshops in Los Angeles over the weekend of July 9 + 10 ... a great opportunity to continue working with him in person.

Joaquín's weekend in L.A. is hosted by Linda Valentino of A Puro Tango.

Orquesta Típica de la Guardia Vieja

The 10-member tango ensemble that Joaquín played with and led in the early 2000's in Buenos Aires, patterned after the classic orquestas of Tango's "Golden Age." Listen to demos of their music here ...

Review of a Musicality Workshop with Joaquín

From a London-based tanguero who blogs under the name "Tango Commuter," this is an overview of a 2010 musicality workshop with Joaquín Amenábar.

Also these 2015 thoughts from long-time dancer, teacher, host + organizer Christy Cote of San Francisco:

I read "Tango: Let's Dance to the Music" about 5 years ago and it completely changed my dancing and understanding of Argentine Tango music in a profound way. I reached out to author, Joaquin Amenabar, in Buenos Aires and invited him to come to Bay Area to share his knowledge with our community. This is my 3rd year hosting Joaquin Amenabar in the Bay Area.

If you are serious about Argentine Tango you need to take Joaquin's [Workshops]. As a university music teacher, Bandoneonista and Tango Dancer his perspective is unique. There is simply no other musicality course out there as complete and well thought out as this one.

For More Background on Tango Music ...

Including history, examples + more, please see our "More Music" page ...

Map + Driving Directions

For the "Musicality" Workshops with Joaquín Amenábar in Ojai:

Map to Ojai Art Center — 113 South Montgomery, Ojai — from Google Maps ...

  • From US 101 in Ventura, take CA 33 north toward Ojai.
  • Keep going straight as CA 150 joins CA 33, then swings east to take you into Ojai. Stay on CA 150.
  • The "center of town" is the stop light at Signal Street — you'll see the Post Office on the SE corner, with its iconic bell tower.
  • For the Art Center:  Continue east approximately 0.1 miles, past Libbey Park, and turn right/south onto South Montgomery — the Art Center is half a block down, on your right ...
  • Come in the front door and follow the music — we will be in the Gallery at the end of the hall ... 1,400 square feet, with a recently refinished maple floor from the 1930s

Exterior — Ojai Art Center — 113 South Montgomery, Ojai

Interior — Dance Space in the Gallery at the Ojai Art Center

Past Quantum Tango Workshops & Events with Visiting Dancers

•    Folias Tango — "Rhythmic Structures" - Riding the Waves in the Music — June 2016

•    Tomás Corbalán + Yamila Ivonne — Tango Lab: "Dynamics" + "Silence" — May 2016

•    Brigitta Winkler — Tango Lab: "Intimacy" — March 2016

•    Muma Valino — Tango Lab: "La Esencia" of Ricardo Vidort — October 2015

•    Joaquín Amenábar — "Essential Units of Tango Rhythm" + "Melody in Tango" — July 2015

•    Virginia Pandolfi — Tango Lab: "Follower's Technique" — June 2015

•    Folias Tango — "Mapping the Tango" - Phrase Structure + Form — June 2015

•    Brigitta Winkler — "Flirty Vals" — March 2015

•    Momo Smitt — "Clean, Clear, Crisp, Rhythmic" + "Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go" — May 2014

•    Daniel Trenner — Tango Lab:  "Principles of Letting + Flowing" — March 2014

•    Brigitta Winkler — "INTER:  Act / Sect / Weave / Relate" — February 2014

•    Leonel Chen + Florencia Han — "Milonga:  Fast + Small" — November 2013

•    Daniel Trenner — Tango Lab: "Iconic Roles - The Lead + Follow Dynamic" — March 2013

•    Felipe Martinez — "Cross-System Gems" — September 2012

•    Sharna Fabiano — "Close Embrace of the Third Kind" — September 2011

•    Folias Tango Quartet & Avik Basu — "Tango Music:  Its Secrets Revealed" — August 2010

•    Daniel Trenner — "Milonga:  Traditional Perspectives & Tráspie" — May 2009

•    Sabine Zubarik — "Milonga for Beginners" — April 2009

•    Andrés Amarilla + Meredith Klein — Mulitple Workshops — October 2007   (pdf)

•    Andrés Amarilla : Extended Residency — January / February / March 2007   (pdf)

•    Andrés Amarilla + Meredith Klein — Tango Lab: "Alternative Embrace" — May 2006

•    Andrés Amarilla + Meredith Klein — Multiple Workshops — May / June 2006   (pdf)

•    Andrés Amarilla + Meredith Klein — Tango Lab Intensive: "Nuevo" — February 2006


Bandoneon - graphic

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