Avelino Flores, an interview

Avelino Flores

Avelino Flores

Avelino Flores

Today I present to you a new edition of meetings with the greats of Argentine Folklore.

I met the bandoneonist Avelino Flores at his house in Corrientes in December 1993. Avelino Flores is considered a successor to the famous Chamamé bandoneonist and composer Tránsito Cocomarola.

Avelino was born on February 2, 1935 in the north of the province of Santa Fe. There the influence of the Guarani Indians is very present. Many European immigrants had settled in this province and produced cotton, oil, and other agricultural products.

They also really liked the folklore of northeastern Argentina, the chamame and the double strumming, and above all the style of the wonderful Tránsito Cocomarola.

Avelino Flores first plays the guitar. At the age of 17, he begins to learn the bandoneon.

He soon played in the Los Angeles orchestra before founding his own ensemble and developing a style of his own. In 1959, at the age of 24, he was invited by the famous Vera-Lucero duo to play with them, a collaboration that would last for many years.

La Topada and Montecito

Avelino Flores becomes famous with songs like La Topada and Montecito, in which he develops the chamamé without ever abandoning the roots of the music of the Argentine Northeast. With the poet Isidro Luciano Prado he writes the wonderful „Homage to the Malvinas Islands“.

In 1960 he moved to Corrientes and started a family. His sons Rudi, on guitar, and Nini, on accordion, have been playing with his father since they were teenagers and continue to develop the folk music of their land.

The three also perform in Europe and conquer the public with their great musicality and their virtuoso interaction. In our conversation, Avelino Flores tells me about the influence of the Gurani Indians on the music of Northeast Argentina and how Chámame developed from the Paraguayan Polka.

He tells me how he learned to play the bandoneon-first as an autodidact by listening to records and radio recordings. And why he venerates his great Idolo Tránsito Cocomarola so much.

Listen for yourselves to everything that Avelino Flores told me, this outstanding Chamamécero. Avelino Flores died in August 2018 at the age of 83.

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