Astor Piazzolla; Tango Composer, Musician

From Associated Press

Astor Piazzolla, one of Argentina’s most popular composers of modern tangos, has died at the age of 71.

Piazzolla died Sunday as a result of a stroke suffered nearly two years ago.

He was a gifted player of the bandoneon, a kind of accordion that is the principal tango instrument. He was praised for writing revolutionary tango music that incorporated elements of jazz and other modern music as well as classical music.

He was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina, but spent much of his childhood in New York, where his father moved to work as a barber.

When Piazzolla was 10, his father gave him a secondhand bandoneon.


“I started playing tangos because I received a bandoneon. Had my father given me a saxophone, I would now be a jazz musician,” he once said.

He is survived by his third wife, Laura Escalada, a son and a daughter.