Austin Music Map: Esquina Tango
KUT’s Texas Music Matters is partnering with the national Localore initiative to create the Austin Music Map: a yearlong effort to go beyond the well-traveled streets of the Austin music scene in search of the hidden places where music is being made. We want your help discovering and documenting these places. To find out how to get involved, visit the Austin Music Map website or call our hotline with stories and tips: (512) 861-8266.
You might not think of Austin as a hotspot for Argentine Tango, but thanks to musician Glover Gill, and dancers Monica Caivano and Gustavo Simplis, Austin now has a rich community of Tangueros that’s only getting bigger.
Caivano and Simplis—Argentinian transplants and dance teachers—opened Esquina Tango in 2008. When they moved in, the space was a rundown church, but with the help of friends and students, they remodeled the building and installed a dance floor and small stage.
The colorful house sits on the corner of E. 3rd and Pedernales in the East Cesar Chavez neighborhood, and Caivano and Simplis now host regular Spanish classes, movie nights, and milongas several times a month:
Central to the Esquina Tango community is Glover Gill and his tango quartet. For more than fifteen years, Gill has played accordion and bandoneón in tango groups around Austin and he remains at the heart of the city’s small and vibrant scene. But Gill’s route to tango was indirect, winding through punk, new wave, and classical music: