At the Bárbaro Restaurante, an Uruguayan restaurant in Vila Olimpia in Sao Paulo, the meat is from Argentina and Uruguay, and so is the music. Bandoneón (button accordion), six-string guitar, bass guitar and a selection of singers (including customers!). The professionals know the repertoire well, and so do some customers, being able to distinguish Uruguayan from Argentinian tango, tango from its predecessor, milonga, and traditional tango from nuevo tango.
As always in Brasil, everyone knows the words and sings along. The musicians encourage the audience to take part, with a roving radio microphone to help. It’s about the music, before the musicians, accomplished though they are. A melody I recognised was composed by the foremost nuevo tango composer Ástor Piazzolla; I knew it from the Grace Jones song, also called Libertango. In all, a gracious and musical evening which would, I think, stand comparison with the cabarets of 1910s Paris.
Piazzolla is an interesting figure, having studied under Boulanger and worked with Borges (pictured), and being responsible for a new musical direction in Argentinian tango. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astor_Piazzolla Here’s his El Pillete El Pillete