Biography

Leopoldo Federico was born in Balvanera, Buenos Aires, on January 12th, 1927. His father Luis passed from a day-labourer to a company's associate, but went later bankrupt. Being he a free time bandoneon player ``by ear'', the bandoneon was always present in the family's home, while the young Leopoldo used to play in secret his father's wonderfull instrument. But it was his uncle Chilo Rainone who brought the bandoneon to Leopoldo, being himself a fan of Pedro Maffia, and who perhaps was dreaming of Leopoldo to play like Maffia who had played during the silent movie era in the Select Lavalle theatre. With twelve, Chilo Rainone brought Leopoldo to Ingratta, a local bandoneon teacher, who very soon recognized Leopoldo's vocation and who brought him to Felix Lipesker, one of the most famous teachers of the time. But the modest family was not able to cover the costs, and, finally Francisco Requena took over the job. in 1943, at the age of 17, Leopoldo's father was then a charburner. Leopoldo had to contribute during the morning while his father was selling in the streets. Kwowing of the economic trouble of the family, Paco Requena introduced Leopoldo to the orchestra of Di Adamo-Flores which was performing at the Tabaris, a well established Night Club. All people told Leopoldo he was playing magnificent, but he was unsure if he could play in an orchestra. When they told him he would earn 200 pesos, he couldn't beleive it! Leopoldo's new income saved the family. His mother managed the economy.

Already in 1944 Leopoldo was engaged by Juan Carlos Cobián, a famous composer. Very soon he came to Emilio Balcarce, highly admired by Leopoldo as person, musician, arranger, and composer, but his discrete violin play. Later, when they had to accompany the vocalist Alberto Marino the stronger violinist Simón Bajour came in.

In 1946, the time with Alfredo Gobbi begun. ``We all bacame mad of Alfredo Gobbi'' remembers Leopoldo. But there were also difficult moments. Most violinists quit at this orchestra and Gobbi had to play alone. Perhaps the reason was they had to play at three or four different places a day. ``We started at noon at Richmond, Suipacha, and from there we went to Marzotto by Corrientes where we finished at 9 p.m. Then we went to Chacarita by subway to continue in the Bar Argentino until 1:30 a.m. During the rest of the morning we played at El Congo at the Bonpland street. Sometimes we had no time to close the instruments in their cases.''

El Gordo: Always a revolutionary but at the same time a traditionalist (Oscar Zucchi).

In fact: Leopoldo Federico is among the greatest bandoneonists ever and besides Máximo Mori and Gabriel Clausi one of the best arrangers. The sound he gets from his instruments makes his performance unmistakable.

1927
born in Buenos Aires, Balvanera, on January 12th, 1927
from modest parents. his father Luis Federico was a free time bandoneonist ``by ear''. used to play secretly on his father's bandoneon until at the age of twelve he received a short introduction to the instrument by Ingratta, a local teacher, who soon recognized that his pupil needed the best teacher available. So he continued with Felix Lipesker. But due to financial limitations of his parents, he continued with Francisco Requena
1944
professional intiation with the orchestra of Di Adamo-Flores performing at the Cabaret Tabaris
and later with Juan Carlos Cobián
1945
with Emilio Balcarce and Victor D'Amario
1946
Alfredo Gobbi, now as soloist
1947
Orquesta Osmar Maderna
later with the orchestra of the vocalist Alberto Marino under the conduction of the violinist Emilio Balcarce
and the Orquesta Osvaldo Manzi as well,
yet as a famous bandoneonist he was called by several orchestras:
Hector Stamponi, Miguel Caló, Lucio Demare, Mariano Mores, Florindo Sassone, and Carlos Di Sarli
Great success he could achieve with Astor Piazzolla.
1950-1952
performing the first bandoneon at the orchestra of Horacio Salgán
1952
his first own ensemble with Atilio Stampone (piano) performing at the Cabaret Tibidabi
1953-1967
permanent at Radio Belgrano and one recording for the label TK: Criolla Linda and Tierrita with Antonio Rodriguez Lesende - vocal and arrangements by Argentino Galvan
1954
with the Orquesta Héctor Maria Artola performing for Radio El Mundo
1955
again with Atilio Stampone, but formed part of the famous Octeto Buenos Aires of Astor Piazzolla, recording for the labels Allegro and Disk Jockey and performing in concert halls in Buenos Aires and Montevideo
also performances with the orchestra of the pianist Carlos García and the vocalist Héctor Pacheco
1958
performed at the orchestra of Roberto Rufino y Elsa Rivas, the permanent orchestra of Radio Belgrano, and made recordings with the vocalists Laura Esquivel and Aldo Fabré on Music Hall
Other recordings, also on Music Hall, were made with Los Notables del Tango, performing together with Leo Lipesker (violin), Omar Murtagh (bass), and Manuel Flores or Osvaldo Berlingieri (piano)
1959
tour through Central America with Mariano Mores
1960
founding of the cuartet Pa' que bailen los Muchachos conduced by Domingo Rullio
1959-1964
successfull recording cycle with the vocalist Julio Sosa (until Sosa's mortal accident on November, 26th, 1964) and later with the vocalists Ayala and Gari
1966-70
Cuarteto Federico-Grela
1970-75
Trio with Berlingieri(piano) and Fernando Cabarcos
1976
first trip to Japan with his orchestra with important performances during three month in the most important cities
1977
performances with Michelángelo
1980-1988
performing at El Viejo Almacén
1986/9-10
tour through Brazil
1986/11-12
performances at Casa Rosada
1988
the SADAIC Award Grandes Intérpretes
1987-1994
performances at Casablanca
1988
third trip to Japan
1990
visit to Finland
1992
performance at the 50th Granada Festival with his orchestra and as soloist with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Granada, conduced by Osvaldo Requena
1985+1995
Konex Award tango instrumentalist
1995+1996
sixth trip to Japan
1998/7
Viejo Almacén
1998-2001
President of AADI

Important halls of Buenos Aires he performed are: Malena al Sur, Caño Catorce, Sans Souci, La Casa de Carlos Gardel, La Gayola, etc. and during seven continued years in Mar del Plata: Caribbean, Enterprise, Caño Catorce, Re Fa Si, Trasnochando, Hotel Hermitage and Mi País. Of course he had to repeat many trips to places of the countryside, as well.

He toured also many countries: Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, France, Japan, Finland, Spain and Switzerland and conducted and arranged the ensemble for Susana Rinaldi at Paris' Olympia, her presentations at Michelangelo and the San Martín theatre and on recordings for Philips.

Very successfull arrangements he made for a couple of vocalists like Hector Mauré, Alberto Podestá, Gloria Díaz, Edmundo Rivero, etc.

(German, Spanish, English)
last update: 2017-11-24
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