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Wednesday, 03 May 2017 16:10

Five keys to succeed on the dance floor

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Just like any other gathering of people sharing the same passion for a music genre, milongas have their own golden rules which are worth knowing if you plan to enjoy the experience in full. Following are some of the most important ones:

  • 01Circulate on outer perimeter of the dance floor and counter clockwise. The legend goes that in the old times, tango men feared being stabbed in the middle of the dance and they had to watch their back. This way, they stayed alert and avoided being ambushed in the center of the dance floor.
  • 02

    Be respectful of the dancing space of other dancers on the floor and avoid halts.".

  • 03

    Dance the 4 tango pieces of the round and escort the lady to the table she was before when you asked her to dance.

  • 04

    Avoid talking during the dance. There is a common belief that says tango is a conversation in silence, for about 3 minutes, in this respect, it is key to let yourself go with the music.

  • 05Tango classes are given before every milonga, where it is possible to learn tips that can be later applied on the dance floor. However, once you are on the dance floor, it is not appropriate to indicate another dancer what to do or to try to teach a move to another dancer.
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Wednesday, 03 May 2017 15:51

Going dancing to "milongas" in Montevideo

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Tango is one of the most genuine and original cultural expressions in the Rio de la Plata, and Montevideo offers enchanting surroundings to get carried away by the rhythm of its music.
Any day of the week is fine to get inspired by the 2 by 4 rhythm in picturesque and diverse milongas in the capital.
How can we define these magical encounters of Montevideo´s night life?
A Milonga is a space dedicated specifically to the tango dance; the meeting place of "milongueros" (milonga dancers), amateurs or tango dancers, to express their passion and enjoyment for the dance.
Gustavo Bello, a dancer and teacher of tango, defines it as "a privileged place to do some dance moves, enjoy and dance, but also to share an embrace and a common feeling for the genre."
Milongas usually gather friends and acquaintances who share the same passion for tango, but also receive tourists from all over the world who are curious to experience tango on their own shoes or simply to sit and watch the dance.
In Montevideo, there are milongas of different styles and sizes. For example, on Wednesdays you can visit Museo del Vino, framed in an intimate setting characterized by sculptures, old wine demijohns and warm lighting.
Thursdays is Ché Madam, this milonga offers a dance floor and the most typical Uruguayan dishes. It is one of the few milonga options where besides enjoying the tango dance it is possible to sit down for dinner.
JovenTango, on the other hand, is usually recognized by dancers and teachers as "the institution" in the matter. Born in 1977, this cultural place aims to study, cultivate and promote the musical genre born in the Rio de la Plata. Its diverse milonga proposals are framed within a space of wide tradition as the "Mercado de la Abundancia" (Market of Abundance).
Dance lovers often praise the place´s extensive curupai hardwood floors of more than 180 square meters.
Although milongas there take place practically every day of the week - Mondays: La Lunera; Tuesdays: La Yapa -, the busiest day of the week is usually Friday, when sometimes there are more than 200 couples on the dance floor.
Another milonga of great tradition is Vieja Viola at the Ensueño Room on Saturdays. Its acclaimed dance floor has been visited by champions from all over the world.
Uruguayans have their own codes when it comes to milonga. For example, to invite someone to dance, we go to their table and it is common to see women taking the initiative. In Argentina, however, it is usually the gentlemen who ask ladies to dance and they do it with a nod of their heads, while the women wait attentively for their gestures of invitation.

Milongas every night

  • 01Monday. "LaLunera". Location: Aquiles Lanza 1290 and San Jose. Tel. 29015561 Facebook: JovenTango 
  • 02

    Tuesday. "Lo de Margot." Location: Constituyente 1812, between Gaboto and Yaro. Tel. 24106230. Facebook: LodeMargot.

  • 03

    Wednesday. "Museo del Vino" Location: Maldonado 1150. 29083430. Website: Museodel Vino. Sitio web: MuseodelVino.
    "La Callejera". Location: Plaza Líber Seregni. From October to May 1st. Facebook: "Milonga Callejera"(Street tango dancing). Facebook: "Milonga Callejera"

  • 05 Friday. "JovenTango" Location: Aquiles Lanza 1290 at San Jose. Facebook: JovenTango. Facebook: JovenTango.
  • 06  Saturday. "Lo de Margot" Location: Constituyente 1812, between Gaboto and Yaro. Tel. 24106230. Facebook: LodeMargot.
    "Vieja Viola". Location: Paysandú 1639 at Minas . Facebook: Vieja Viola

Important: Milonga schedules can change so we recommend contacting your organizers. Visit Milongashoy fan page for all the highlights each week.

The first chords of the anthem of Tangos are heard more than ever on the streets of Montevideo. The "Chan, chan, chan, chan" resonates in the most diverse places from the old radio of an old coffee shop in Montevideo, a ringtone on a cell phone, the whistle of the bus driver or the answering machine of a state entity.
No one escapes the spell cast by La Cumparsita, much less in 2017: the 100th anniversary of its premiere. The centennial is conducive to discover and get carried away by tango; this expression from the River Plate, which in Uruguay is experienced in a special way. Following are some of the proposals to be surprised by the 2x4 rhythm on Uruguayan soil.

1- Going to milongas Montevideo style
Every night the capital offers charming surroundings of different styles and sizes to be carried away by the rhythm of the 2x4. The so-called "milongas" are places designed for the meeting of amateurs or tango dancers, who share their passion and enjoy tango on the dance floor.

2- Visit La Cumparsita Museum
The new museum, which opened this past December, is located in one of the most emblematic buildings of the capital: Palacio Salvo, precisely on the same grounds where the tango anthem was heard for the first time back in 1917.
Tours for tourists are organized every day led by local guides who tell visitors the stories and tales of mythical tango. The guided tour costs $ 150 and includes a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, depending on the time of the day and the preference of the tourists.
Visitors can also go to dinner shows featuring a welcoming drink, starter, main course, dessert and two shows; one is a dance and the other is a radio drama accompanied by a live bandoneonist. This proposal runs from Friday to Sunday and the cost is US$ 90 per person and requires prior reservation.

3 - Listen to "La Cumparsita" in a café in the capital.
The downtown area and the old city, as Montevideans call it, are full of bars that have witnessed stories which are part of our history. Café Bacacay, Fun Fun, Café Brasilero, Tasende and Roldos are just some of the examples visitors cannot miss.

4- Have a picture taken at the sculpture of Carlos Gardel at Facal Bar.
On 18th of July Avenue, the principal avenue in the city, right at the entrance of Facal Bar, there is this nice sculpture of Carlos Gardel, also called "the magician". Pictures of visitors embracing the statue have become a classic souvenir. Besides, gastronomic critics say this is also a great spot to try a delicious "Chivito" (beef sandwich), one of the most traditional dishes of Uruguay.

5- Enjoy two exhibitions related La Cumparsita
As of February, the Museum of the General Authors' Association of Uruguay (Agadu) will hold an exhibition on Gerardo Matos Rodríguez, which will be open all year round from Monday to Friday, with photographs, personal objects and documents of the author. In turn, as of April 19, the Montevideo Photography Center will open a photographic exhibition of the author in the Open Sky Gallery of Parque Rodó. Both proposals are free of charge.
However, tango is present not only in the capital, Montevideo. The rest of the country also offers corners to experience and enjoy the passion of this cultural expression. For those who are willing to travel a few miles we suggest the following :

6 - Visit the Carlos Gardel Museum
This museum is part of the Municipality of Tacuarembó and is located in an old grocery store in Valle Eden, where Carlos Gardel would have performed as a young artist. The museum displays several documents which base the version of Gardel´s origin in Tacuarembo and its consequent Uruguayan nationality. According to these sources, the singer was born on a farm called 'Santa Blanca', located in the town of Valle Eden.
Address: Ituzaingó 364 Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture), Valle Edén. Department of Tacuarembó
Phone: (598) 46323520- mobile 30

7- Esapcio Cultural y Museo Julio Sosa (Museum and cultural center)
Created in honor of Julio Sosa, called the "Tango Man" who was born in Las Piedras (Canelones), this cultural space located at the Horse Track in the city of Las Piedras offers samples and exhibitions of the culture of the city.
Address: Hipódromo de las Piedras. Avenida Bicentenario S / N - Las Piedras. Canelones. Phone number: (00) 598 23666703 Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

8- Go to the Festival "Vení a cantarle a Gardel” (Come and Sing out to Gardel)
The twentieth edition of the National Contest "Vení a cantarle a Gardel" will be held between December 8th and 10th in Tacuarembó and this year gathers special shows and artists to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the famous singer.

9- Be part of the activities of Dia del Patrimonio (Heritage Day)
In 2017 La Cumparsita will be the central theme of the National Heritage Day, which takes place the first weekend of October. A myriad of proposals and activities throughout the country will revolve around the tango anthem.

The Anthem of Tangos composed by Uruguayan artist, Gerardo Matos Rodríguez, has a new cultural space. The museum is open every day from 9 am to 4:30 pm on the ground floor of Palacio Salvo building, which at the beginning of the 20th century housed a coffee shop named La Giralda where La Cumparsita was heard for the first time, performed by the quartet led by Roberto Firpo, a musician with vast experience at the time.
This cultural space, which opened in December 1916, offers tours with local guides who tell visitors the stories and tales of the place from the early days. The guided tour is $150 and includes a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, depending on the time of the day and the preference of visitors.
The inside walls and the surroundings are covered by records with the first edition of La Cumparsita, old victrolas and an infinity of documents from the time.
This cultural space also offers dinner shows featuring a welcome drink, a starter, a main course, dessert and two shows; one is a dance and the other is a radio drama accompanied by a live bandoneonist. This proposal runs from Friday to Sunday and the cost is US$ 90 per person and requires prior reservation.
Visitors can also choose from different souvenirs to take home or try the wines, two special editions, which bear the label of the most famous tango in the world.

A fresh look
One striking aspect is that the creators of the museum do not come from the Montevideo tango movement. Their inspiration came directly from their contact with the place. "When we walked into the room and we saw the plans of the distribution of the mythical Giralda and we compared them with the place where the Salvo stands today, there was as a sort of immediate connection with the idea. It was a revelation. Besides, the Palacio Salvo building has a particular magic that catches you ", says the director of the museum, Ms.Monica Kaphammel.

WHAT TO SEE?

Instructions with decorum
A poster shows the transformation of tango, which in the beginning was linked to the masculine environment and night life, and gradually won the acceptance of the rest of society. This poster is a picturesque list of instructions dedicated to housewives, which teaches them to dance tango with a style much less daring than that used in the brothels of the time.

Ironic notes
A cartoon made by Gerardo Matos Rodríguez himself, mocks the bad reputation of his tangos in the early twentieth century. "If cheap music is the music of your choice, here is a tango by Matos Rodríguez," reads the irony written on an improvised illustration of his own authorship.

Old Victrolas
The museum exhibits two old victrola phonographs that are still in operation; a home version and one for the ball room. Visitors are surprised to hear their unique sound without having to resort to electricity.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Palacio Salvo, Plaza Independencia 848.
Telephone numbers: (00598) 2900 1264.
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Monday, 13 March 2017 14:23

Punta del Este: family option

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The beach resort of Punta del Este offers multiple attractions to enjoy with your family. Adventures in motion, cozy natural surroundings and stories of treasures and pirates are just around the corner. You only need to schedule your activity The following is a listing of some of the must-sees to keep the kids smiling during the holidays.

Museo del Mar (Museum of the Sea)
Eight thousand snails of different sizes and colors, whales, stars and seahorses are part of the elements of interest in this museum that is ideal to visit with the family. The little ones delight in listening to stories of treasures, buccaneers and corsairs. One of the attractions is the largest mussel in the world. Before leaving the museum families are to solve several enigmas such as why sharks do not attack in Uruguay or why sea turtles cry when taken out of the sea.
Contact: + (598) 42771817
Www.museodelmar.com.uy
Location: 1km from Puente de la Barra (La Barra Bridge)

Adventures in Solanas
Paintball, Laser Games, quad biking, guided horse riding and canopy are just part of the Solanas Vacation Club proposals. All activities can be enjoyed by the whole family, adults and children. The interesting thing is that to participate in them you do not need to be a member of the club.
Contact information:
Www.solanasaventura.com
Tel: 42578540 int. 2006/8750
Cel. (00598) 999088626

Water Sports at Parada 4 (Stop 4)
The Mansa Beach is ideal for water sports. Here you can rent jet skis, go water skiing or go for a spin on a banana boat. A real blast for children of all ages.

Go for a ride on an electric bike
This new environmentally friendly proposal for the whole family is at Gorlero 1035. You can rent or buy super comfortable and ecological electric bicycles.
Www.bicitrend.com/bicitrend

Visit the sea lions
40 minutes from the port of Punta del Este, in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the largest reserves of sea lions in the world. Visitors are not allowed to go ashore, but they can contemplate the sea lions from the boat.
The rides cost approximately USD 50 per person. Find more information at the Port of Punta del Este.

Visit Gorriti Island
An excellent alternative to enjoy with the family is to visit the Gorriti Island and its picturesque beaches. Although visitors can see the whole island in 2 hours, it is a good idea to make it a day there. Boats leave from the port of Punta del Este every day, weather provided.
Round trip price: USD10 (aprox).
In summer, departures take place every half hour from 9 am.

Connect with nature at Arboretum Lussich
It is one of the most diverse forest reserves of imported species in the world and a magical environment to connect with nature whether for  hiking in the woods or cycling.
During the tour it is possible to take refuge in gazebos and shady spaces that are ideal for family picnics.
Camino Lusich, Road 38

Monday, 13 March 2017 13:24

Tour Montevideo with the whole family

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Touring Montevideo with children has a particular charm. Young people need to be outdoors, enter places where they have freedom of movement, play and interact with the older ones and above all, have fun and be surprised. In this article we suggest 10 attractions where you can safely enjoy your vacation without hearing the so feared phrases "I want to leave" or "How far is it?".

1. Lecocq Park
Located on the outskirts of Santiago Vázquez, the 60-hectare park is a support center for the conservation of biodiversity, nationally and internationally. Located on the banks of the Santa Lucia River 19.5 km from the city center, the park hosts more than 500 animals. Its origins go back to the years 1946 and 1949 when a zoo with animal species from all over the world was created. Currently, it is designed as an Ecological Park, combining a zoo, a scientific center, a museum and a botanical garden.
It houses an interpretation center of Parque Natural Municipal Humedales (Wetland Municipal Natural Park) of the Santa Lucia river, that offers guided visits.
Address: Luis Batlle Berres - Km 19.5
Hours: Summer from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Winter from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: (00598 2) 312 0013
Guided tours: Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Guided tours: Paseo del Monte: Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
+INFO

2. Museum of Pre-Columbian and Indigenous Art
It displays more than 700 archeological and ethnographic pieces of indigenous people in America and the present territory of Uruguay. In the Mapi, the youngest can discover what these lands were like thousands of years ago, what animals inhabited them, what the first settlers did not to get bored and what things they invented to entertain their children. Visitors can enjoy all this while engaging in different activities designed so that children, teenagers and adults can become familiar and learn a little more about the Indigenous America.
Address: 25 de Mayo 279 on the corner of Pérez Castellano
Hours: Mondays to Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Phone: (598) 2916 9360.
+ INFO

3. The Macarena "At the end of the Wetland"
This proposal includes several walks through incredible natural corners located a few kilometers from the capital. La Macarena is immersed in the wetlands of Santa Lucia. These are characterized by being the only salt water wetlands in South America, the most extensive and important in Uruguay and thw wetlands that contain a high degree of biodiversity, including more than half of the species of birds of our country. Boat tours along the channels and beaches, jeep tours in the Criollo woods and a tour of the productive area with ​​more than 50,000 fruit trees are part of the options for visitors. An important aspect is that tours are offered for blind and disabled people.
+ INFO

4. Planetarium
The planetarium of Montevideo “Agr. Germán Barbato" was opened on February 11, 1955, being the first in Latin America. In addition, the Spitz, its main projector, is the oldest in the world still in operation. There are regular visits to watch the stars, day or night, many of which have the honorary collaboration of amateur astronomers. The planetarium is a highly recommendable walk for star and planet fans. “Ciencia Viva” (Live Science), an active science museum, operates in the basement of the Planetarium. It opens its facilities between May and November. The activities of the planetarium are free in general.
Address: Gral. Rivera Avenue 3275.
Phone: 26229109
+ INFO

5. Espacio Ciencia (Science Space)
This interactive science and technology museum belongs to the Uruguayan Technological Laboratory (LATU) and offers themed exhibitions on: Antarctica, Anthill, Respira Uruguay and others. It is open from July to November, with special hours during July holidays. The exhibitions are aimed at children of all ages under family supervision.
Address: Avda. Bologna between Avda. Italia and Maria Saldún
Hours: July to November, Mondays to Fridays: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays: 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. July holidays: every day from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Telephone: 26013724 int. 1170-1171
+ INFO

6. Torres García Museum
The museum´s proposal is to understand and feel art from the perspective of the famous Uruguayan painter Joaquín Torres García, one of the great masters of Modern Art. Visitors can learn the fundamental concepts of his work through the senses, by playing. The activity takes place in the permanent room of the Torres García Museum, where oil paintings, drawings and the originals of the transformable toys made by the artist are exhibited. It is also possible to experiment with the facsimile reproductions of the artist's toys. What is so special about these toys? How do they work? What shapes are they made of? What do they share with other works by Torres? Can they teach us how to create? All this and more is part of the proposal that the museum has prepared for the little ones and their families. Visits need to be scheduled in advance.
Address: Peatonal Sarandí 683
Neighborhood: Ciudad vieja (Old City)
Schedule: Open all year from Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Phone number: 2916 26 63 | 2915 65 44 | 2915 26 35
Description: Duration: 1 hour Price: $ 150 (Uruguayan pesos)
+ INFO

7. Mechanical attractions of Parque Rodó
This amusement park in Montevideo is a classic for families with both small children and not so much. There are two entertainment areas with rides and several food options. One is located on Boulevard Artigas and 21 de Setiembre and gathers the attractions for smaller children: merry go rounds, auto rides, crazy cups rides, etc. and the other one is by the beach, Playa Ramírez. This last one, apart from attractions of similar characteristics, has more daring rides for teenagers such as The House of Terror, Flying Parasols, the Samba Rock Ride and a Ferris Wheel.
Hours: Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 2.30 pm to 9 pm

8. Children's City
This is an entertainment center for the family where children and adults explore their creativity through symbolic games. It can be defined as a city on a scale of 2,500 m2, where the kids and their families can play and pretend to be what they want and even discover their vocation. Kids can be journalists, jewelers, gas station employees, models, artists, doctors, cameramen, firefighters, stylists, TV hosts, the roles to play are many and the best is that kids can try them all.
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 3pm to 7pm. + INFO

9. Paintball and Laser Shots in Montevideo
Shooting wars, whether it is paint or laser lights has become an international trend. In Montevideo there are several places to practice them, such as Area51, in the heart of Montevideo, which has 3 indoor paintball courts for children over 12 and a Laser Shot area for children over 6.
+ INFO

10 - Puntogame
Escape Room is a new experience in the form of a real escape game, designed for groups of 2 to 5 players, for friends, family and businesses. Set in a time and place, your team has a mission to play. They will only need wits, skills, logics and team work. All the adrenaline and fun concentrate in just 60 minutes.
Address: Soriano 943 bis. Esq. W. F. Aldunate
Hours: Every day from 10 am to 10 pm, with prior arrangement.
Phone: (+ 598) 95 560 098
+ INFO

"Golden Heritage of the Hum" is the name of a new tourist route that includes the towns of Paso de los Toros and San Gregorio in Tacuarembó.
Discover the original land of tonic water, the origin of many of the literary passages of Mario Benedetti, or contemplate the landscape of Rincón del Bonete dam. These are some of the offers by the picturesque town of Paso de los Toros.
In turn, San Gregorio contributes with the art of its murals and sculptures, the first Museum of Visual Arts in Latin America, and the MUHCAM museum, an old general store from the beginning of the 20th century transformed into a poetic relic, and its magical sunsets over the Rio Negro river.
Both destinations attract visitors to enjoy its cultural richness and the magnificent landscapes that adorn its territory.

Monday, 24 October 2016 18:04

Five keys to succeed on the dance floor.

Written by

Like any other gathering of people sharing the same passion for a music genre, milongas have their own golden rules, which are worth knowing if you plan to enjoy the experience in full. Following are some of the most important ones:

  • 01Circulate on the outer perimeter of the dance floor and counter clockwise. The legend goes that in the old times, tango men feared being stabbed in the middle of the dance and they had to watch their backs. This way, they stayed alert and avoided being ambushed in the center of the dance floor.
  • 02

    Ser respetuoso con el espacio de baile del resto de los bailarines de la pista y no andar a los "ponchazos".

  • 03

    Be respectful of the dancing space of other dancers on the floor and avoid halts.

  • 04

    Dance the 4 tango pieces of the round and escort the lady to the table where she was when you asked her to dance.

  • 05 Tango classes are given before every milonga, where it is possible to learn tips that can be later applied on the dance floor. However, once you are on the dance floor, it is not appropriate to indicate another dancer what to do or to try to teach a move to another dancer.
Wednesday, 19 October 2016 13:34

Visit the heroic city of Paysandu

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Between December 1864 and the first days of 1865, the city of Paysandu was besieged by General Venancio Flores, whose allies were Brazilian and Argentine soldiers and ships. The defense, organized by the Gral. Leandro Gomez, brought together about a thousand men, among whom there were several civilians and they precariously endured the bombing of the invading troops that had nearly 15,000 soldiers. This episode, not only gave the nickname of Heroic to the city of Paysandu, but it was also the preamble of one of the greatest tragedies of America: the Paraguayan War.
Camino de Leandro Gómez (The Way of Leandro Gomez) is an experiential proposal that takes visitors along emblematic sites and includes anecdotes and stories of this heroic feat.

Contact: Department of Tourism
Tel. (+598) 472 26220 Ext. 198
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 16:44

Traditional festivals

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Singing, improvised gaucho folk songs (‘payadas’), rodeo, campfires and country skills are at the heart of hundreds of traditional celebrations throughout the year. We invite you to discover them. The most representative rural traditions in Uruguay are displayed the length and breadth of the country in different celebrations and festivals which take place throughout the year.

Good examples of these festivals are the ‘Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha’ in Tacuarembó, the ‘Semana Criolla del Prado’ in Montevideo, and the ‘Criolla del Parque Roosevelt’ in Canelones, among many others.
Singing, music, ‘payadas’ (improvised gaucho folk songs), rodeo, riding, campfires and other country skills come together in these festivals which are a trademark of Uruguayan identity that cannot be left unexplored.
Uruguayan folk music has different manifestations and rhythms such as the ‘vidalita’, ‘milonga’, ‘payada’ and the ‘pericón’, which are always performed on the guitar. This musical instrument, introduced during the time of Spanish dominance, is an inseparable companion to the ‘criollo’ (local) traditional songbook and all ‘criollo’ forms of expression. In the same way, the accordion, with its enchanting cadence, has enriched our folk music.

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