Tango? Not according to the Latin Academy
Who are the gatekeepers of the tango category at LARAS? Who are these experts who passed judgment on my brand of tango and considered it not "tango" enough? What else do they consider not-tango? Recent Latin Grammy nominations of recordings by Pablo Ziegler and Adrian Iaies, artists whom I consider to be very close to my aesthetic and clearly not traditional tango, make it even more confusing to understand where they draw the line.
But we could hardly expect the Latin Academy to subject all submitted nominations to such an intense scrutiny. Take Brazilian music: most artists there make liberal use of jazz instrumentation and harmony and they don't think twice about using reggae or guajira or rock rhythms as part of their palette. I doubt you would exclude Caetano Veloso or Carlinhos Brown from the Brazilian music category. And think of an analogous situation in the jazz category! Well, actually, that has happened before and the results were invariably scandalous.
If the tango experts can't hear what it is that I'm doing with this music, perhaps they should listen closer. Given my trajectory, they may even have to acknowledge that they don't know enough about tango rhythms and forms to pass judgment on this music. And they must understand the tango tradition as a living, breathing thing. Tango is alive, it's not stuck in the past and you should expect it to sound different today than it did in the so-called Golden Era of the '40s. I feel that my work over the past two decades has contributed to the validity of tango as a contemporary, dynamic genre. It's too bad Latin Academy voters will not have a chance to acknowledge this.