Tango with Cally is a weekly radio program hosted by Saint Louis Symphony musician Cally Banham. She shares tango recordings from the late 1920s to today, along with stories about the history and culture of Tango music and dance.
July 31 and August 5: Finding Tango in Unexpected Places (rebroadcast) – Tango isn’t limited to Argentine composers and traditional tango instruments like violin and bandoneon. The style appealed to Igor Stravinsky, and jazz harmonica player Hugo Diaz, to name just a couple of surprises! Cally shares Tango recordings from these two composers at the ends of the spectrum, with classics in between.
July 24 and 29: Cally’s Top 15 – Cally shares 15 of her favorite tangos in a countdown!
July 17 and 22: Autumn and Winter – Cally shares Antonio Vivaldi’s and Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons compositions side-by-side, but with different soloists. Violinists featured: Joshua Bell, Daniel Rowland, Janine Jansen, and Gidon Kremer.
July 10 and 15: Spring and Summer – Cally shares Antonio Vivaldi’s and Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons compositions side-by-side, but with different soloists. Violinists featured: Nigel Kennedy, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Rachael Podger, and Lara St. John.
July 3 and 8: TWC Welcomes Paola Bordon – Cally talks with USA Tango Championship silver medalist Paola Bordon about her early training in Buenos Aires, her professional competitive career in the United States, and the connections between Argentine folkloric dance and Tango. Rarely heard Pugliese and Di Sarli selections from Paola’s library are featured.
June 25 and July 1: Por una cabeza – The well known tango scene in the movie “Scent of a Woman” is set to the music of Carlos Gardel’s most famous composition, “Por una cabeza”. Cally explains the gambling metaphor within the lyrics, and shares three contrasting versions of this tango – from the movie soundtrack, Itzhak Perlman, and Carlos Gardel himself.
June 19 and 24: Hadelich and Hasse – In a show full of little gems, this episode features violinist Augustin Hadelich (pictured) in Astor Piazzolla’s “Café 1930”, and a stunning soliloquy performance of Augustín Bardi’s “Nunca tuvo novio” by Argentine bandoneon soloist Julian Hasse.
June 12 and 17: Crossing Over – Tango meets classical and jazz! Tango composers sometimes borrowed from the greats. Cally plays a couple of tangos that are based on the melodies of Johannes Brahms and Frederick Chopin. Plus, tango/jazz fusion musician Pablo Aslan (pictured) is featured in an extended riff on Aníbal Troilo’s “La trampera”.
June 5 and 10: Salon Tango and Walking – It takes two to tango, but first you must walk alone! Cally plays Salon classics from Osvaldo Fresedo and tenor Robert Ray, and tells us about the importance of simple walking in this elegant style of dance. Plus, pianist Alicia de Larrocha is featured in a performance of “Tango”, from the suite España by Isaac Albéniz.
May 29 and June 3: Eva Peron and Magaldi – What was the connection between Argentina’s famous first lady and tango singer Augustín Magaldi? Cally introduces us to the real Magaldi, whose nickname was “the sentimental voice of Buenos Aires”. Also featured is Astor Piazzolla performing his own beloved tango ballad, “Oblivion”.
May 22 and 27: Legend of La Telesita – The chacarera is a folkloric dance that is a relative of Tango. Cally shares the Argentine legend of “La Telesita” – the most famous chacarera dancer, the mythical girl who danced herself to death. Also featured are rhythmic tangos from Alfredo Gobbi and Osvaldo Pugliese, as well as an Astor Piazzolla offering from Yo-Yo Ma.
May 15 and 20: Carlos Di Sarli – “Lord of Tango” – Musician Carlos di Sarli was a paramount musician who created a style that is instantly recognizable from the first notes of any of his recordings. Cally shares the story of the revered orchestra leader behind the dark glasses, and classic recordings of his compositions, including his masterpieces Milonguero viejo and Bahía Blanca.
May 8 and 13: Finding Tango in Unexpected Places – Tango isn’t limited to Argentine composers and traditional tango instruments like violin and bandoneon. The style appealed to Igor Stravinsky, and jazz harmonica player Hugo Diaz, to name just a couple of surprises! Cally shares tango recordings from these two composers at the ends of the spectrum, with classics in between.
May 1 and 6: Poema – Cally tells the dark story of Francisco Canaro and Eduardo Bianco’s Tango masterpiece “Poema”, shares romantic selections from the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra, and features pianist Leif Ove Andsnes in a stunning little gem from the Isaac Albéniz suite “España”.
April 24 and 29: Golden Era Tango – Cally features “Golden Era” tango classics from the ’50s, along with great contemporary performances by two living virtuosos, classical violinist Nicola Benedetti and tango bass player Pablo Aslan.
April 17 and 22: The Tango with Cally premiere!
Cally Banham has been a proud member of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra since 2006, when she was appointed to the Solo English horn position by then-Music Director David Robertson. Previously she was Solo English horn with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, and Principal Oboe with the Memphis Symphony. Cally has performed as a guest in the principal English horn chairs of the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Cleveland Orchestra.
In 2013, Cally transformed her hobby of dancing Argentine Tango into a musical pursuit. She founded Cortango, a tango/classical/jazz six-piece fusion ensemble. Cortango released its debut album, Tandas, in 2015. In 2018, Cally co- produced her own solo Christmas album, Cor Christmas, which received extensive radio play on classical stations in the US and Canada.