September 30, 2023

Tango in Medellin Continues to Thrive; Salon Malaga, Patio del Tango Local Favorites

Even if you missed the 10th annual Medellin Tango Festival in June (see Medellin Herald on June 15, 2016), you don’t have to book air-fare to Buenos Aires to see some outstanding local and international tango musicians and dancers.

Fortunately, Medellin continues to host some of the best local and international tango artists in the world – mainly because of a strong local tango culture here that partly traces its roots to the tragic death of Carlos Gardel (the world’s greatest tango singer) in Medellin in 1935.

For locals – as well a small but growing number of expats and tango-seeking international travelers — two continuing favorite locales for seeing live tango music-and-dance performances here are the bohemian Salon Malaga (downtown, on  carrera 51 Bolívar) and the more-intimate El Patio del Tango (Trinidad neighborhood, not far from the Olaya Herrera city airport).

A recent visit — one of several in recent years — by Medellin Herald to Salon Malaga was accompanied by two outstanding photo-journalists from the USA (John and Donna Stormzand) who shot a movie of tango dancers “Ricardo y Ana” and musicians Daniel Espinoza (bandoneon), Mario Luna (vocals), Gerardo Avendaño (vocals), David Mira (guitar) and Eduardo Osorio (piano).

Salon Malaga has live tango performances every Saturday starting at 5:30 p.m. (reservations recommended, call 231-2658), while El Patio del Tango (reservations recommended, call 235-4595) has shows every week – “milongas” on Wednesdays, then tangos on Thursdays through Saturdays.

For those interested in learning to dance tango, check out the “A Puro Tango” dance company’s web site here.

Yet another worthy local site for tango buffs is the “Casa Museo Gardeliana” museum on Avenida 45 in the Manrique neighborhood. The museum – dedicated to the memory of Carlos Gardel — was founded in 1973 by Argentinian expat Leonardo Nieto, who also owns the Salon Versalles restaurant in downtown Medellin, long a gathering place for the city’s nostalgic.

Another site popular with tango buffs is the Casa Cultural del Tango Homero Manzi, at the corner of Calle 48 and Carrera 41 downtown. This museum – originally dedicated to tango poets – occasionally hosts tango shows, according to the Medellin Travel web site.

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