Salonline 2022-03-27 Pérz Trifilio UNIVERSE

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Sunday March 27, 2022
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– A “hybrid” concert –

Pérez-Trifilio UNIVERSE

Cristian Pérez – guitar
Emmanuel Trifilio – bandoneon
Noah Sapp – double bass

Tango Triumph

Cristian and Emmanuel take Tango as a starting point. The great Argentine musical narrative of the first half of the 20th century consolidated a unique and very complex language.

The history of great Tango composers closed the cycle with Astor Piazzolla, who died in 1992. Since then, and for at least two decades, tango has been shown to the world as a museum object. Knowing about tango meant reproducing it, reciting it mimetically; tributes among the musicians proliferated. The DJ consolidates this authoritarian way of understanding language, the great censor who evaluates the survival of a work only with the vague measurement of “danceability”

And the imaginative tango machine — what became of the gift of its invention? The machine for thinking and reinventing the genre covered laziness, forgetfulness and discipline. That is perhaps our great tradition, a complex space full of gapes and rumors. Distance helps, Cristian and Emmanuel rewrite new tangos and music on the fringes of this genre that dialogue and discuss and ignore tradition.

The result is that The End is suspended…there is still cloth to be cut.


Defying all musical labels, Argentine guitarist/composer Cristian Perez weaves together genres from throughout the world to reveal the universality of music. With a strong foundation in classical, jazz and South American music, he crafts a singular voice, rich in sensitivity and nuance, that freely explores the possibilities of music as an art form. Cristian had the honor of being an Artist in Residence at Strathmore for the class of 2014-2015.

Cristian began taking piano lessons at the age of 5, but did not find his true passion until he picked up the guitar in his mid-teens after being inspired by rock groups from Argentina. Self-taught on guitar, he gravitated towards classical guitar after moving to the U.S. in 2002. Encouraged to pursue music by his high school teacher Ken Hall, Cristian met Paraguayan guitarist extraordinaire Berta Rojas, under whom he studied privately for two years.

Cristian went on to study classical guitar under Larry Snitzler at George Mason University, and quickly immersed himself in chamber groups, guitar ensembles, and jazz bands large and small. Cristian developed a passion for jazz, and began studying under jazz guitarist Rick Whitehead and saxophonist Tyler Kuebler. While pursuing a double-major in Performance and Jazz Studies at GMU, Cristian expanded his musical horizons and gained invaluable skills that make him unique as an artist. He was named a winner for the GMU Honors Recital four times (2009-2012), and was honored as an outstanding graduate upon completion of his Master’s Degree in 2012.

Cristian has performed with many of the best musicians in the Washington DC area (i.e.: Victor Provost, Joe McCarthy, John Kocur, Emmanuel Trifilio, etc.) and played at some of the top venues in the Metropolitan area, such as Blues Alley, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Bohemian Caverns, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, and Twins Jazz. Cristian has performed in Canada and Dominican Republic, and in 2011, he performed as part of the GMU Jazz Ensemble in Shanghai and Beijing. Recently, Cristian has toured Bolivia and Korea.

Cristian has taken lessons with renowned jazz/fusion guitarist Mike Stern, and has played in masterclasses with classical guitar greats such as Pepe Romero, Roland Dyens, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Carlos Perez, and Margarita Escarpa. Cristian has also been influenced by other private teachers – pianists Mark Brandt and Wade Beach, and guitarists Steve Herberman and Geoff Reecer.

Over the last few years, Cristian has embellished his musical palette by re-discovering the folk music of his childhood and exploring the music of other cultures, such as India and Japan. These influences have helped to shape Cristian’s original compositions and arrangements, which are featured in his quintet. Cristian’s guitar is joined by flute, bandoneon, upright bass, and drums to form a hybrid ensemble – equal parts jazz combo, chamber ensemble and world music band. The group’s quest for beauty takes the listener on an ever-changing journey, past the conventional boundaries of genre and style.

International bandoneonist and prolific tango composer, Argentinian Emmanuel Trifilio brings a fresh perspective to the traditional tango sound, both in performance and composition.  Now based in Washington, D.C., Sr. Trifilio’s career began as bandoneon soloist at venues such as the famous Cafe Tortoni in Buenos Aires. After establishing himself as an accomplished performer in Argentina, he was invited to join the Los Inmigrantes Tango Orchestra, which soon after won Buenos Aires’s annual tango orchestra contest. Sr. Trifilio’s career expanded across South America when he was invited to tour Chile with Maestro Tato Finocci. 

Sr. Trifilio then traveled to Europe for booked performances; after extended residencies in Italy, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, he settled in the U.S. He has since appeared, as soloist, on the main stages of Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and Lincoln Center with small and large ensembles including the Choral Arts Society of Washington and National Philharmonic Orchestra. Sr. Trifilio has also been featured by Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Pan American Symphony Orchestra, Endless Mountains Music Festival Orchestra, and Florida International University Orchestra and Chorus. He will appear with South Carolina Philharmonic in 2017, performing Astor Piazzolla’s Concerto for Bandoneon. 

Sr. Trifilio regularly performs with chamber group QuinTango, and collaborated as arranger and bandoneonist on their 2014 album Tango Lovers. He can be heard with esteemed cellist Gautier Capuçon on the soundtrack of the short film Le Petit Nuage.  He toured to New Orleans and Lincoln Center with the Octavio Brunetti Tango Orchestra, traveled with the internationally-acclaimed band Otros Aires as solo bandoneonist in their 2014 U.S. tour, and performed with Alejandro Ziegler Quartet in their 2016 U.S.-Canada tour. 

In addition to solo performing and arranging, Sr. Trifilio composes and presents original tangos with various ensembles across the East Coast. The world premiere of his Tango Suite No. 1: Five movements for Bandoneon, Cello, and Guitar, was featured at the Embassy of Argentina as part of Pan American Symphony Orchestra’s 2015 Tango Festival. A founding member of New York Tango 6, a traditional tango sextet dedicated to premiering new tango works, Sr. Trifilio performed world premieres of several of his works at the group’s debut concert. He is currently composing new works for the venerated bandoneonist Daniel Binelli.

Founded in 2015, his Trifilio Tango Trio presents virtuosic programs of all new and original tango music by Sr. Trifilio. Bandoneon, cello, and guitar, TTT has recorded two albums of Sr. Trifilio’s original tangos and tours internationally. “Milonga de la Ausencia,” from their first album, Original, is featured on the short film “Vuelve con nosotros,” and was nominated for Best Original Score at MOFF Film Festival in Milan, 2016. TTT’s booked appearances for 2017-2018 include D.C., NYC, San Francisco, Richmond, Havana, Miami, Houston, Denver, and Buenos Aires.

Noah Sapp is a dedicated and passionate double bassist and multi-instrumentalist with over 8 years of experience in classical performance, as well as many other genres of music. Recognized consistently for performance excellence and contributions to school ensembles, youth orchestras, and more.

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