Troilo playing on Argentina’s first native bandoneon

This photo shows Aníbal Troilo not with his own legendary bandoneon, but playing on Argentina’s first completely locally produced bandoneon. Some background info: the bandoneon is a German instrument, originally supposed to be a ”handheld church organ”, but it randomly, and fascinatingly, ended up to be the cornerstone of Argentine tango music. According to the legends, the bandoneon originally arrived in that rather distant corner of the world because of either Germans or Italians (in Northern Italy, these instruments were popular too) bringing it along on their voyages. The rest is history.  Usually, bandoneons were produced in Germany, and imported to Argentina.

However, according to the caption of this picture below, a certain company called ”Luis Mariani & son” produced the first Argentine bandoneon in 1943, and it was premiered by none other than Troilo at a concert. Afterwards, the producer gave it to SADAIC, Argentina’s rights organisation for artists, whose president was… Francisco Lomuto. The photo is also interesting because it also features singers Francisco Fiorentino (left) and a very young Alberto Marino (center), as well as ”Kicho” Díaz, Troilo’s double bass player. This orchestra was playing some of its most beautiful music at that time, so who else wishes they could travel in time to attend this concert?


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