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Arrabal de Tango: Tango por Siempre

by Mong-Lan and Enrique Santillán

Tarde 03:14
Caminito 03:20
El Choclo 03:29
Volver 03:42


Arrabal de Tango: Tango por Siempre

Tango from their barrios, their neighborhoods, Almagro, Avellaneda, Buenos Aires: Mộng-Lan and Enrique Santillán’s new album of tangos with guitar and voice. Mộng-Lan, Vietnamese-born singer and guitarist, and Enrique Santillán, virtuoso guitarist, from Avellaneda, Buenos Aires, interpret the classic tangos with passion, ingenuity, and brilliance.

“Arrabal de Tango,” their second album together, weaves virtuoso tango guitar with a profound voice that touches the spirit. The two create an amalgam of harmony and music, agony and joy, nostalgia for what once was, for a loving humanity.

The guitar, the voice. The Tango. The tango vals, and milonga.

This is what it is to feel the tango, what it is to breathe the air of Buenos Aires. This is the tango lived.

------ Spanish - Español-----

Arrabal de Tango: Tango por Siempre

El tango de sus barrios. Almagro, Avellaneda, Buenos Aires: El nuevo álbum de tangos con guitarra y voz de Mong-Lan y Enrique Santillán. Mong-Lan, cantante y guitarrista de origen vietnamita, y Enrique Santillán, guitarrista virtuoso, de Avellaneda, Buenos Aires, interpretan los tangos clásicos con pasión, ingenio y brillantez.

"Arrabal de Tango,” su segundo álbum juntos, teje virtuosas guitarras de tango con una voz profunda que toca el espíritu. Los dos crean una amalgama de armonía y música, de la agonía y la alegría, la nostalgia de lo que era, de una humanidad cariñosa.

La guitarra, la voz. El tango. El vals y la milonga.

Esto es lo que es sentir el tango, lo que es respirar el aire de Buenos Aires. Esto es el tango vivido.

Biography: English

For international tango artist Mong-Lan, her love affair with tango began over twenty years ago, beginning with the dance. Along with her family, she had left her native Viet Nam on the last day of the evacuation of Sai Gon. Mong-Lan’s musical education began when she was a child, studying the violin for several years. For many years as an adolescent, she studied classical piano with various private teachers. Later, living in Buenos Aires from 2009, she studied opera singing with various well-known sopranos, and at the same time, studied tango singing with tango singers and musicians. With regard to playing tango and technique on the guitar, she has studied with several private teachers in Buenos Aires, to include Enrique Santillan. She also lived for a time in New Orleans, listening to the jazz played in the music houses, on the streets and in the bars. Mong-Lan sings in six languages, composes music and writes songs. Her ten albums of jazz piano and tangos also showcase her poetry. She has performed nationally and internationally for cultural organizations, on college campuses, in cabarets and clubs. Former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and Fulbright Scholar, Mong-Lan is also an award-winning poet and writer, and professional tango dancer and teacher.

Enrique Santillán’s life as a musician began as a child. Born in Avellaneda, Buenos Aires, he descended from musical parents and grandparents, who were founders of Argentine folkloric music, from the northern city of Santiago del Estero. From a very young age, as was the tradition in his family, his father taught him the guitar and music. Later, he studied music in the conservatory in Buenos Aires, and as a young man, started his career as a guitarist. He dedicated his life for more than twenty years in Christian music, playing in the orchestras of Evangelical churches. In addition, he has formed several trios, playing first guitar in the bolero style. Over the many years, he has taken part in numerous recordings. Around 2008, he began his career as a tango musician in Buenos Aires. He is also a Christian theologian and preacher.


La vida de Enrique Santillán como músico comenzó desde niño. Desendiente de padres y abuelos musicos procedentes de la ciudad de Santiago del Estero, fundadores del arte del folklore argentino. Su padre lo instruyó desde pequeño como guitarrista. Estudió en el conservatorio de música y de joven emprendió su carrera como concertista en guitarra. Dedicó su vida por más de veinte años en la música cristiana. Tocó en las orquestas de iglesias Evangélicas. Realizó numerosas grabaciones y formó varios tríos desempeñando la primera guitarra en estilo de boleros. Por último, emprendió su carrera como músico de tango argentino en Buenos Aires. Es también apologísta cristiano teólogo y maestro en la palabra y predicador.

Para Mong-Lan, artista internacional de tango, su relación íntima con el tango comenzó hace más de veinte años, comenzando con el baile. Junto con su familia, ella dejó su Viet Nam natal el último día de la evacuación de Sai Gon. Su educación musical comenzó desde niña, con el violín durante varios años. Durante muchos años como adolescente, estudió piano clásico con varios maestros privados. Más tarde, a partir de 2009 en Buenos Aires, estudió canto lírico con varias sopranos conocidas; y al mismo tiempo, estudió canto de tango con cantantes de tango y músicos. La guitarra y técnica en la guitarra, ella estudió con varios maestros privados en Buenos Aires, incluso Enrique Santillán. También vivió un tiempo en New Orleans, escuchando el jazz que se toca en los salones de jazz, en las calles y en los bares. Mong-Lan canta en seis idiomas, compone música y escribe canciones. Sus diez álbumes de piano de jazz y tangos también muestran su poesía. Ha hecho actuaciones y presentaciones internacionalmente para organizaciones culturales, en las universidades, escuelas, en cabarets y clubes. Mong-Lan ganó una beca de Wallace E. Stegner para la Universidad de Stanford por dos años y una beca Fulbright. Mong-Lan es también poeta galardonada y escritora, y bailarina y maestra de tango.


Meaning of the word "Arrabal"-- It dates back to 1919, the incorporation of the word “arrabal” o to the lyrics of tango. This is a Spanish word of Arabic origin: the growth of a city.
Arrabal and Arrabalero words were added to tango in 1919 by the hand of a poet Celedonio Flores and became famous in the 40s led by another poet, Homero Manzi. In short, thirty years in that urban geography was one of the exclusive tracks of tango lyrics.
    Arrabal is a Spanish word of Arabic origin and is not the Latino suburb (sub-urbis) which is a regional organization, or the medieval extra-mural, which means a walled city opposition, too alien to American tradition. Arrabal is defined in time in space: the growth of a city.
    Buenos Aires is a city that has always grown continuously, from the village of 180 inhabitants in 1870 to the megalopolis of over ten million in the '60s. At critical moments of its expansion, which coincide with the birth, and the boom of the tango, Buenos Aires had more Arrabal than city that is to say a greater margin expansive than a center, which does not imply that the Arrabal has been the birthplace or the exclusive territory of tango. That image of tango that from the edge of the city wins the center,  is nothing but a metaphor for its success in society.
    Arrabal, a well as orilla y orillero, have a strong social implication: the outside implies a down, and the center opposes the up, in a society that tolerates poor vertical metaphors, as almost all Argentines are classified as middle class.
Source: Eduardo Romano


released May 21, 2020

1. "Tarde"-- Jose Canet, music, lyrics.
2. "Mi Buenos Aires Querido"-- Carlos Gardel, music; Alfredo Le Pera, lyrics.
3. "Bajo un Cielo de Estrellas"-- Stamponi Hector Luciano, Francini Enrique Mario, music; Jose Maria Contursi, lyrics.
4. "Caminito"-- Juan de Dios Filiberto, music; Gabino Coria Peñaloza, lyrics.
5. "El Choclo"-- Villoldo, Angel, music.
6. "Volver"-- Carlos Gardel, music; Alfredo Le Pera, lyrics.
7. "El Dia que Me Quieras"-- Carlos Gardel, music; Alfredo Le Pera, lyrics.
8. "Flor de la Canela"-- Chabuca Granda, music, lyrics.
9. "Por la Vuelta" -- Tinelli Jose, music; Enrique Domingo Cadicamo, lyrics.
10. "Que Tango Hay Que Cantar" -- Ruben Juarez Jorge, music; Cacho Castaña, lyrics.
11. "Por Una Cabeza" -- Carlos Gardel, music; Alfredo Le Pera, lyrics.


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Mong-Lan Texas

Mong-Lan is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer, award-winning poet, writer, visual artist, dancer, and educator. Her music is a search, meditation and exploration of what was, what is, and what will be. Visit: www.monglan.com

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