When Romulo Larrea was a young boy, he received a gift that would forever change his life.
“My father brought me a black box,” Larrea recalled. “I thought that was a fantastic soccer ball.”
However, it was no soccer ball. Inside the black box was a bandoneon, a German free reed instrument.
“It’s a very great instrument,” Larrea said.
Since then, Larrea has gone on to become a highly regarded composer, musical director and is often credited for bringing tango to Montreal.
On Friday (Oct. 17) Larrea and his tango trio, known as the Romulo Larrea Tango Ensemble, will be performing at the Port Theatre. The performance will blend the art of tango with the sounds of Buenos Aires and explore the story behind the bandoneon.
Larrea was born in Montevideo, Uruguay and has lived and performed all over the world.
During the late 1970s, he moved to Quebec, where he founded one of the first tango groups in the city. While in Quebec he would later create his ensemble, which has since toured around the globe.
In 1999, Larrea received a Félix Award for Arranger of the Year. The award is given out annual to musicians that are from or based in the province of Quebec.
“That is enormous for me,” Larrea said about receiving a Félix.
The Romulo Larrea Tango Ensemble performs at the Port Theatre on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $5 to $40. There will be a pre-show chat at 6:45 p.m. in the Harmac Room. For tickets and more information, please visit www.porttheatre.com or call 250-754-8550. For more information on the Romulo Larrea ensemble, please visit www.ensembleromulolarrea.com.