Pablo Ziegler Quintet for New Tango at Edison Theatre Jan. 18

Grammy Award-winning pianist joined by Argentine vocalist Claudia Acuña

The marriage between jazz and tango was virtually unheard of 30 years ago — until pianist Pablo Ziegler burst onto the music scene, seamlessly combining the sultry tango rhythms with the energetic spontaneity of jazz.

This month, the Pablo Ziegler Quintet for New Tango — joined by special guest Claudia Acuña — will present a special one-night-only concert as part of the Edison Theatre OVATIONS! Series at Washington University.

Pablo Ziegler
Pablo Ziegler brings his Quintet for New Tango to Edison Theatre Jan. 18.

The performance begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18. Tickets are $30; $25 seniors and Washington University faculty and staff; and $18 for students and children. Tickets are available at the Edison Theatre Box Office and through all MetroTix outlets. Edison Theatre is located in the Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.

For more information, call (314) 935-6543 or email

Born in Buenos Aires, Ziegler began performing classical repertoire at the age of 14 but was also influenced by Bebop and Dixieland music as well by tango, with which he became acquainted through his father, a violinist. In the 1960s he formed the Pablo Ziegler Trio, which performed jazz arrangements of classical music, but in 1978 Ziegler joined Astor Piazzolla’s famous New Tango Quintet. Over the next 10 years he would perform throughout Europe, Japan and North America, until Piazzolla’s failing health forced the group to disband.

In 1990 Ziegler launched his own Quartet for New Tango. The group blended classic tango rhythms with jazz improvisations — something that previously had not been part of the tango lexicon. Howard Reich of The Chicago Times noted that, “There’s no question that Ziegler takes the tango to levels of sophistication and refinement probably undreamed of by Piazzolla.”

In 1991 Ziegler’s Quartet released its debut album, La Conexion Porteña, and Ziegler also recorded Piazzolla’s works with the Buenos Aires Philharmoic Orchestra. In 1994 Ziegler expanded the group into a quintet, which has since toured extensively throughout North and South America as well as in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

In 2002 and 2004 Ziegler served as musical director for two fully staged versions of Piazzola’s “little opera”, Maria de Buenos Aires, in which he also performed. He also has recorded a series of critically acclaimed albums, including Asphalt (1998), Tango Romance: Music of Buenos Aires with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (1998), and Pablo Ziegler Quintet for New Tango (2000). In 2003 Ziegler collaborated with Quique Sinesi and Walter Castro on Bajo Cero, which won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Tango Album. His most recent releases are Buenos Aires Report (2007) and Tango & All That Jazz (2007).

Claudia Acuña
Vocalist Claudia Acuña joins the Pablo Ziegler Quintet for New Tango at Edison Theatre Jan. 18.

Acuña was born in Santiago, Chile, and raised in Concepcion, where her early influences included Chilean music pioneers Violeta Parra and Victor Jara as well as American singers such as Frank Sinatra, Erroll Garner and Sarah Vaughan. In 1991 she returned to Santiago and quickly made a name for herself on the local jazz scene, sitting in with visiting musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Michel Petrucciani, Joe Lovano and Danilo Perez.

In 1995 Acuña moved to New York City and soon became a fixture at local jam sessions, performing with pianist Harry Whitaker, guitarist Ron Affif and pianist Jason Lindner, who remains her closest collaborator. In 2000 she released her acclaimed debut, Wind from the South, followed by Rhythm of Life (2002), and Luna (2004). Meanwhile, Acuña has recorded, toured and performed with artists such as Tom Harrell, Billy Childs, George Benson, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, David Gilmore, Trio de Paz and Joey Calderazzo.

In addition to her music, Acuña currently serves as a spokesperson for World Vision Chile, an international relief and development organization.


Founded in 1973, the Edison Theatre OVATIONS! Series serves both Washington University and the St. Louis community by providing the highest caliber national and international artists in music, dance and theater, performing new works as well as innovative interpretations of classical material not otherwise seen in St. Louis.

Edison Theatre programs are made possible with support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; the Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis; and private contributors. The OVATIONS! Season is supported by The Mid-America Arts Alliance with generous underwriting by the National Endowment for the Arts and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Calendar Summary

WHO: The Pablo Ziegler Quintet for New Tango with special guest Claudia Acuña

WHAT: Concert

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18

WHERE: Edison Theatre, Washington University, Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.

TICKETS: $30; $25 for seniors and WUSTL faculty and staff; $18 for students and children. Available through the Edison Theatre Box Office, (314) 935-6543, and all MetroTix outlets.

SPONSOR: Edison Theatre OVATIONS! Series

INFORMATION: (314) 935-6543 or