Over his long, wandering career, accordionist Dino Saluzzi, 71, has often reached across genre lines in search of creative expression. For him, the idea of blending Argentine folk and tango music with European classical tradition comes naturally.
So Saluzzi is a perfect fit for the Skirball Cultural Center's series "Compressing the World," which reaches its apex tonight when the lyrical master of the tango accordion, the bandoneon, appears with cellist Anja Lechner. The pair recently released "Ojos Negros," the latest of Saluzzi's projects for the German ECM label.
The duo's music emanates "from our culture, from our wishes, from our veins and also from the real possibility to be together," Saluzzi says by phone from Buenos Aires. "I try to mix two types of music, which at the end is the same music. All of the music is coming to be together someday in the future, because what we call evolution, nobody can stop."
Saluzzi perpetuates the musical language of another famous bandoneon player, the late "nuevo tango" king Astor Piazzolla, although Saluzzi clarifies that the similarity is general, not specific: "We both worked with the idea of emancipation, but in the conception of the art, we are unique. What you can hear between Piazzolla and me is the culture. We come from tango music. The culture is always in there, if we are honest artists and composers, and if we want to save it too. Young composers are mixing, in a crazy way, all [different] music, and the music loses its virginity. If we lose the virginity, we lose the personality of the music."
So Saluzzi comes more from the heart than the head?
"Yeah," he says. "It's the only way."
-- Josef Woodard
Dino Saluzzi and Anja Lechner, Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. 8 tonight. $25. (866) 468-3399.