CHANGO SPASIUK & PER EINAR WATLE (Argentina/
Blue ice meets red soil in Norwegian-Argentinian collaboration
The Argentinian folk musician Chango Spasiuk and the brilliant Norwegian guitar player Per Einar Watle met each other in Argentina in 2017 and soon found common musical ground.
On the album Hielo Azul Tierra Roja, the collaboration bore fruit. The album was released to glowing reviews and in 2021, it received Premios Gardel, Argentina’s most prestigious music award.
The accordeonist Spasiuk is one of the foremost performers of the Chamamé tradition, a music from northern Argentina which blends influences and instruments from Spanish, African and Guarani traditions and which for a long time was a form of expression met with derision and prejudice. Through musicians like Spasiuk, it’s enjoying a revival. Argentina proposed its inclusion in UNESCOs intangible cultural heritage list in 2018. Spasiuk’s family has Ukrainian background, and in his version of Chamamé, the connections to polka and different forms of Eastern European music are made explicit.
Guitarist and composer Per Einar Watle has specialized in string swing and Latin American folk music. At Oslo World in 2019, they performed the music from Hielo Azul Tierra Roja for the very first time. In 2022, they are finally ready to go on tour.
In Tromsø, Spasiuk and Watle will perform with a the full band, consisting of Changos regular percussion/guitar partner Marcos Villalba, Norwegian percussionist Kenneth Ekornes, bassplayer Steinar Raknes and folk singer Anne Gravir Klykken.