“Tango & Tequila” featuring Jee Yeoun Ko

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Event Information:

Notes: Two sets, with the first set starting at 8 p.m.; doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Free
Location: The Jazz & Heritage Center
1225 N. Rampart St.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
Phone: (504) 558-6100
Website: View Event Website

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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents
featuring cellist
Saturday, Jan. 19
The Jazz & Heritage Center
Sets at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Free admission

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents a special concert, “Tango & Tequila,” on Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Jazz & Heritage Center. It features the cellist Dr. Jee Yeoun Ko performing with an ensemble. Sets will be at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Dr. Ko will perform with her Faubourg Quartet (including Hannah Yim, Natalia Cascante, and Lauren Lemmler), plus pianist Natalia Glavnenco and guitarist Dr. Jay Kacherski on guitar.

In addition to works by the popular tango composer Astor Piazzolla, the musicians will interpret songs by Jose Bragato, Jacob Gade, Carlos Gardel and Carter Brey.

Known around the world as a romantic and sensual form of cultural expression, tango is a popular partner dance and social connector that originated in the 1880s along the River Plate (Río de Plata), the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay. It was born in the impoverished port areas of these countries, where natives mixed with slave and European immigrant populations.

The words "tango" and "tambo" around the River Plate basin were initially used to refer to musical gatherings of slaves, with written records of colonial authorities attempting to ban such gatherings as early as 1789. The tango style we recognize today is the result of a combination of the German Waltz, Czech Polka, Polish Mazurka, and Bohemian Schottische with the Spanish-Cuban Habanera, African Candombe, and Argentinian Milonga.

The tango was frequently practiced in the brothels and bars of ports, where business owners employed bands to entertain their patrons with music. The tango then spread to the rest of the world. Many variations of the dance currently exist around the world.

On August 31, 2009, UNESCO approved a joint proposal by Argentina and Uruguay to include the tango in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

By naming her concert “Tango & Tequila,” Dr. Ko hopes audiences will embrace the fun and lively aspects of the art form, in addition to the expert musicianship of the performers.

Dr. Ko, a native of Korea, began piano at age 5, and at age 7 won first prize in the Young Artist Competition in Seoul.  She also studied a Korean traditional percussion instrument called the jango for three years before she began cello at age 13.  She was accepted to Korea’s Chung Ang University as the only scholarship winner for that year.  She won an additional scholarship as best graduate school student in the Arts, Music, Media, and Drama departments.  She went on to study at the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik in Mannheim, Germany. 

During her studies in Germany, she was an active chamber musician with her international piano trio and cello ensemble.  After earning a Künstlerisches Aufbaustudium degree in Germany, she was recruited by a German American cellist, Babara Thiem, to study in the United States.  Dr. Ko earned her doctoral degree (majoring in cello performance, minoring in orchestral conducting) at Louisiana State University.  She was the Associate Principal in the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra in Lafayette. 

Dr. Ko has a special interest in the music of her home country and in transcribing it for her instrument.  She has taught at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, where she is chair of the classical instrumental department, since 2008.

The Jazz & Heritage Concert Series is a program of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other raised funds, for year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment. For more on what we do, please visit www.jazzandheritage.org.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.