Uniting sensuality and passion, virtuosity and musicality, Norteño electrifies its audiences by its outstanding performances. Norteño (meaning “people of the north” in Spanish) inhabits the turbulent universe of “tango nuevo” (new tango), a genre created by the great Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992). This passionate music, which is derived from classical and contemporary music, with influences of jazz and traditional tango, leaves nobody indifferent! Norteño’s repertoire consists of works by Piazzolla, in their original instrumentation, as well as compositions by Pierre-Paul Provencher, bandoneonist in the ensemble.
Norteño has performed across Canada in such diverse venues as the 1999 Pan American Games for an audience of 20,000 (at the invitation of the Embassy of the Republic of Argentina), at Place des Arts in Montreal, at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and the National Arts Centre. Norteño is frequently heard on CBC radio and Radio-Canada. Performances in classical concert series have been received with great enthusiasm. As well, Norteño has achieved popular successes in various outdoor venues. Norteño’s concerts finish systematically with encores and standing ovations.
Norteño’s “Milonga d’automne” CD, was awarded 5 stars (out of 5) by La Scena Musicale.
“These are musicians who show a great love and a great passion for this music. They truly rip out our hearts and knead them without shame. What joy!”
In the summer of 2007, Norteño opened for Branford Marsalis at the inaugural concert of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival for an audience of 4,000. The same year, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival presented Norteño at their annual concert in the grounds of Rideau Hall for 2,500 spectators. This concert marked the release of a CD entitled Last Tango in Montreal. At a second concert in this festival, Norteño performed pieces from the CD, as well as premiering several new original pieces. Cato’s Life, our most recent CD was released on the occasion of the Quebec premiere of “María de Buenos Aires” performed by Norteño at the Canadian Museum of Civilisation in 2012.
Norteño has received numerous grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council, the Conférence régionale des élus de l’Outaouais, MusicAction, the Fondation pour les arts et les lettres en Outaouais and the City of Gatineau.