Tango for Cancer

Tango premiere to aid American Cancer Society

By Petra Etzl
Published on LatinoLA: November 27, 2004

Tango for Cancer

There?s Argentine tango and there?s ballroom tango ? and then there is the tango spun by 72-year-old British composer Gus Flaherty.

A graduate of the University of Toronto Conservatory of Music, Flaherty?s career includes compositions produced at L.A.?s landmark Cocoanut Grove, the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Golden Eagle Awards and a Farrah Fawcett TV Special.

Flaherty?s latest work, Tango Fiesta, provides a fresh outlook on tango with its infusions of such different styles as jazz, samba, rumba and flamenco, and its addition of atypical instruments like alto saxophone and bouzouki.

To say Tango Fiesta is a rich and varied musical experience is an understatement: drawing on influences and musicians from Peru, Japan, Russia, Columbia, Greece, the U.S. and Uruguay, among other locations, Flaherty molds the tango to his every whim and inspiration while keeping the basic theme vibrantly alive.

From conception to completion, however, Tango Fiesta is more than a fusion of unique cultural interpretation of tango and a variety of musical styles: it?s a testimony of willpower and determination; the musical proof that man can overcome tremendous obstacles at any age.

Flaherty had barely finished the composition of the pieces when he was diagnosed with malignant cancer and was subjected to immediate surgery in his late 60s. Barely recovered, the determined composer went on to produce and record Tango Fiesta, only to be diagnosed with malignant cancer for a second time.

Now, on December 3rd, Gus Flaherty will bring Tango Fiesta to life with an onstage performance at the Wilshire Theater in Beverly Hills, starting at 7 p.m. and, to give back to those who helped him through his ordeal, Flaherty will donate a generous 70% of the ticket profits to the American Cancer Society.

Local musicians such as Justo Almario, Ramon Stagnaro, Alex Acuna and Emilio Kauderer, among many others, will help underscore the beautiful choreography of Cate Caplin, whose choreography experience covers more than 75 successful productions. Also participating will be the Eagle Rock High School band.

For samples of this outstanding music, visit www.tangofiesta.com; tickets for the show are available at http://www.tangofiesta.com/BENEFIT.html or by phone: (213) 480-3232

Being an all-volunteer effort, any assistance in helping to promote this event is also greatly appreciated. For any questions about promotion assistance, write to: petetzl@netscape.net

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