Instead of doing my usual Wednesday night routine of watching “30 Rock” reruns and eating dinner directly out of a can, I decided to class it up a little and attend Urban Tango Trio’s performance at Georgetown’s historic Evermay estate. The concert proved a lively and enjoyable opening event for the S&R Foundation’s Overtures Summer Concert Series.
Violinist Machiko Ozawa, pianist Octavio Brunetti and bassist Pedro Giraudo performed a dynamic set of classic and contemporary tango pieces. Although the three have a long list of awards and credentials, they have not lost their passion for the music they play. They were talkative, eager to share background information and personal anecdotes about the songs they performed. Brunetti, in particular, was full of stories. He explained that “Escualo” (Spanish for “shark”), was written by famous tango composer Astor Piazzolla for an overzealous violinist, and that at age 16 he got the chance to play “Emocionado” with its composer, Omar Torres.
Tango doesn’t lend itself to a staid performance, so it was equally entertaining to watch them play. They each knew their songs and instruments so well, and were able to get absorbed into the music without going overboard. You could see that they loved their craft, but you weren’t distracted by it. It was also impressive that they were so full of energy after making the four-hour drive down from New York City early that morning.
The group released a self-titled album last year and was selling at the meet-and-greet after the show. There was also a brief reception before the concert, which gave guests an opportunity to explore Evermay’s beautiful grounds. The S&R Foundation, which supports talented individuals in the arts and sciences, owns the estate and will host several more Overtures Summer Concert Series events this summer. The roster includes group and solo classical performances.