Carlos Weiske

Carlos Weiske. (Image via Americas Society video)

Music of the Americas: Montevideo

The En Casa series takes us to the Uruguayan capital for a week of tango and candombe, curated by Gustavo Casenave.

Uruguayan pianist and composer Gustavo Casenave opened our season back in October with a lovely solo recital. We asked him to take the En Casa series to Montevideo for a week, and he opened a tango- and candombe-filled window into the sounds of his beautiful city.

Recuerdos will be back next week.

Carlos Weiske

Monday, January 10, 10 a.m.

Uruguayan bassist and composer Carlos Weiske was a double bass soloist at the Sinfónica Nacional del SODRE for over forty years, and he now teaches at the Escuela Universitaria de Música de Uruguay. After studies with Bertram Turetzky at UCSD in the 1980s, he shared the stage with legendary figures including Ástor Piazzolla, Plácido Domingo, and Raúl Jaurena, among many others. Weiske was Artistic Director of the SODRE and of the Camerata Juvenil del Ministerio de Educación y Cultura. His current ensemble is Trio En Ruta, with flutist Beatriz Zoppolo and pianist Mariana Airaudo, with whom he explores tango, classical, and popular music.

From the winter garden in his home in Montevideo, he sent us a version of his own "Candombe" for solo double bass, which features the rhythms and other effects of the typical Afro-Uruguayan musical style and a simple melodic line.

Alberto Magnone

Tuesday, January 11, 10 a.m.

Pianist Alberto Magnone comes from a family of Uruguayan musicians that includes his grandfather, father, mother, and sister. He started his career in 1968 with the psychedelic rock band McGill Clan, which released several singles in Uruguay and Spain. He studied in Buenos Aires with Rodolfo Alchourrón before moving to Barcelona in 1976, where he collaborated with leading jazz figures and taught at the Escuela de Música de Zeleste. Back in Uruguay in 1983, he performed and recorded with the most distinguished Uruguayan musicians, including Fernando Cabrera, Jaime Roos, Eduardo Mateo, Laura Canoura, Osvaldo Fattoruso, and Mariana Ingold, among others, and founded the group Repique. This group released its first album in 1984 and is still performing. Magnone was the producer for legendary murga singer Washington "Canario" Luna for ten years, with shows in Uruguay, Argentina, and the U.S. His music has been performed by symphony orchestras in Uruguay and abroad.

Magnone has released several albums and his compositions have received several national awards. Magnone taught Uruguayan popular music for twenty years at the Escuela Municipal de Música de Montevideo. His book La cumparsita, el tango universal was released in 2017.

He sent us a solo version of Gardel's classic "Volver."

Juan José Zeballos

Wednesday, January 12, 10 a.m.

Juan José Zeballos is a pianist, teacher, and cultural producer based in Montevideo. He has received numerous piano prizes and distinctions since he started his professional career at age 14.

Zeballos has produced and hosted radio and TV shows in Uruguay and Chile and recently performed three concert seasons featuring classical music from Latin America and Europe throughout Uruguay, including didactic concerts in collaboration with actor Ruben Rodríguez. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in the Americas and Europe. Zeballos holds a diploma in cultural production from Universidad CLAEH in Montevideo and has taught in Uruguay and Ecuador. His latest releases include Luz y Sombra and Sólo Piazzolla, Solo Piano dedicated to the music of the Argentine composer.

He sent us a video of "Reina de la Noche (Verano)" by Facundo Fernández Luna, recorded in Montevideo's famous Teatro Solís.

Carlos Quintana

Thursday, January 13, 10 a.m.

Guitarist, composer, singer, and producer Carlos Quintana has worked with Uruguayan musicians, including Hugo Fattoruso, Jaime Roos, Ruben Rada, Leo Masliah, Osvaldo Fattoruso, Canario Luna, and Mariana Ingold, among others. He was a member of several influential popular music groups and has released four solo albums: Ignominia, Canciones transparentes, Neuroexplosiones, and Multiverso. He has also taught guitar, improvisation, and harmony at Escuela de Música Yamaha, Movimiento Cultural Jazz a la Calle, and Taller Uruguayo de Música Popular, where he also directs the resident orchestra. Quintana has also written for theater.

From home in Montevideo, he sent us "Candombe Jam 1," a guitar solo based on his original pieces.

Julio Cobelli

Friday, January 14, 10 a.m.

Born in Montevideo, guitarist Julio Cobelli started his musical studies with his father and has played alongside stars Alfredo Zitarrosa, Roberto Goyeneche and Roberto Grela, among others, throughout Latin America. Cobelli was the arranger for Zitarrosa after the singer's return to Uruguay in 1984. Cobelli has released several albums as both a soloist and member of ensembles, starting with Al estilo Julio Cobelli in 1992. Interested in stylistic crossover, he participated in the show "Tango & Rock & Roll" with members of Uruguayan rock bands in Montevideo. He has taught generations of Uruguayan musicians. 

From home, he sent us Gardel's classic "El Día que me Quieras."

Cobelli says about his choice: "When I thought of a song to play on the guitar, the emblematic tango by Gardel and Le Pera appeared without thinking. I love its sonority and undulating melody. I have been playing tango for fifty-five years, and I think it is immortal, so I chose a song by Gardel because he is the greatest singer of all time. I hope that, as you listen to "El Día que me Quieras," you too will become curious and able to feel my heart's intention through the voice of the guitar."


The MetLife Foundation Music of the Americas concert series is made possible by the generous support of Presenting Sponsor MetLife Foundation.

MetLife Foundation


The Spring 2022 Music program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and by the Howard Gilman Foundation.


     Howard Gilman Foundation  NYSCA


Additional support comes from The Augustine Foundation. 

The Augustine Foundation