Tango music, dance excites Red Springs
By Lauren Allen
Around The Town Assistant Editor
Quintango, a musical quintet consisting of two violins, a cello, a bass and piano, performed at the Flora MacDonald Academy Auditorium in Red Springs, Feb.11 at 8 p.m.
Quintango is dedicated to the performance of tango and has traveled the world bringing their unique tango style along with them.
The Argentinean Embassy, the Martin Luther King Library, the White House and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts are a few of the prestigious venues where the ensemble has preformed.
Quintango is no stranger to the stage and true musical talent and love for tango music dances through the air as they take their places next to their instruments.
"We've been together for nine years," Joan Singer, the founder of Quintango, said.
"We're a fusion chamber tango music group," Singer said trying to describe the group in five words.
The Washington Post called them "one of Washington's finest instrumental ensemble."
The five were cheerful as they took to the stage and gave a spunky performance of the oldest and newest tango music, from Libertano to El Entrerriano to Quintango, a piece that was written specifically for them by the late and famous tango composer, Osvaldo Berlinghieri.
The dancers made four appearances throughout the concert, bringing a visual effect to the stage, which added a more unique style to an already amazing show.
"Each of us is very different. Intense, extroverted, serious, fun-loving. When it all comes together on stage it's just great to see, especially the interactions," Singer said.
Quintango is composed of five members: Libby Blatt, double bass; Jorge Luis Espinoza, cello; Jennifer Rickard, violin; Joan Singer, violin; and Jeffrey Watson, piano.
Herby Gonzalez and Emilie Tobias are dancers that accompany the musical group.
Libby Blatt, a founding member of Quintango, has traveled with the group to Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina and France to share their music.
Jorje Luis Espinoza took his musical talent and became a finalist in the 2004 Carlos Prieto Latin American Cello Competition and a prizewinner in 2001 in the Luis Sigall International Cello Competition.
Jennifer Rickard is the newest Quintango member.
She is also a member of the National Philharmonic and National Gallery Orchestra in Washington, D.C.
Rickard also coaches strings and chamber music for the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony.
Jeffrey Watson has appeared as a soloist with the Honduran National Symphony, the Rosario Chamber and many more. He has also served as Executive Director of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop.
Harby Gonzalez is originally from Columbia. He began dancing at a young age and won a scholarship to Buenos Aires to study tango.
Emilie Tobias owns and operates the Ballroom Dance Center in Augusta and has performed with the quintet since 2005.
Quintango won a WAMMIE Award in 2001, 2002 and 2003 for Best Chamber Ensemble and another award in 2003 for best World Musical Recording.
To learn more about Quintango visit their web site at www.quintango.com.