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Metcalfe/Pearce Tango Project

225 W Main St., Charlottesville, VA 22902

(434) 234-3763

  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Monday
  • Location: The Bebedero
  • Time: 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
  • Price: Free!


The Matty Metcalfe/Miles Pearce Tango Project seeks to expand the horizons of traditional Argentine tango music through innovative approaches and stylistic re-imaginings—the result is a wholly original exploration of Latin music that interweaves traditional sounds (accordion and guitar) with modern, boundary-defying sensibilities. Still in place are the groove-oriented, highly danceable boleros, rhumbas, and sambas associated with the style, but infused with Metcalfe and Pearce’s ‘Cantina-party’ energy, the re-worked songs burst with new life all their own.

With the release of his 2012 album, Musette Moderna/Tango a Tiempo, Mr. Metcalfe embarked on a musical mission designed to reinvent traditional Argentine music by early 20th century composers such as Gardel, Piazzolla, and Aleman. To achieve this ‘New Tango’ sound, fresh arrangements and a modern feel instrumentation were required. A violin echoes the sounds of Appalachia while a well-placed electric guitar line suggests John Zorn or other modern jazz. Elsewhere marimbas and steel drums percussively chime to draw the listener back to the streets of Buenos Aires.

While that sound is impossible to recreate in a duo setting, Pearce steers the songs to exciting new places. Pieces by the Bueno Vista Social Club and Manu Chao are rediscovered and seamlessly integrated with his own original flamenco-inspired works. Vocal melodies intertwine with plaintive accordion passages which together invokes a timeless portrait of Andean hillsides, Cuban beaches, and Sao Paolo barrios—impossible to place yet instantly memorable.

We think you’ll agree that, like the Bebedero itself—it’s Vera Cruz cuisine, innovative drink list, and artwork—there’s something entirely recognizable yet completely different about the Metcalfe/Pearce Tango Project. We hope you’ll enjoy the latter while taking in the former on a Monday night from 6 - 8:30 pm