Argentine singer Omar Mollo is this year’s “el Padrino del festival” of the Dutch International Tangoweek. Mollo is famous in his country, has an extensive discography and won the prestige Gardel Award seven times with his singing. He was also nominated three times for the Latin Grammy, including in 2017 with his CD ‘Tango Cosmopolita’. The Argentine KONEX foundation recognized him twice as best popular and tango singer. Now he is committing himself as a ‘ godfather’ to the Dutch festival that specializes in Argentine Tango culture and expects to grow in the coming years.
,,It is important that this festival is here,” Mollo explains. ,,The Argentine Tango has been recognized by Unesco as a special intangible heritage. The organization of the Dutch International Tango Week has shown in recent years that it is possible to organize a high quality festival with the big names from this genre with an international reputation. Mollo himself was also to be seen and heard at the festival several times before in various lineups. Among others with the Argentine pianist Juan Pablo Dobal and the Dutch Trio Escapada.
,,The festival has a unique position”, he continues. ,,Nowhere else in Europe can so much live tango music be seen in one place. In the Netherlands, people often think that you have to dance to the music. Naturally, the music is very suitable to experience on a dance floor, but that is certainly not an obligation. As with other cultural movements, it is about more than just the dance. The music and the poetry are equally important. That is the reason the Unesco has recognized the Argentine Tango as intangible heritage”. At this moment the Netherlands are still in a disadvantaged position when it comes to the recognition of the Argentine Tango.
The Argentine Tango is still alive today. Mollo: “The rich history is still being honored and musicians are discovering and developing new forms of expression. The festival pays ample attention to the broad cultural movement and the country of Argentina. For example, there is also attention for the wine and culinary aspects of the country. ,,The country is in my heart, in my genes. It moves me to see that even in the Netherlands there is interest in my fatherland. It is a special honor to experience a small piece of the homeland during the event. Everyone can be in Argentina for a short while. Without having to fly 14 hours for it”.
This year the Dutch International Tango Week will be celebrated in modified 2-day Covid form and with an audience on August 21 and 22 at the Muntgebouw in Utrecht and will additionally have an online program for the international audience who, due to travel restrictions, cannot attend this year.