is necessary to appeal to a very fitted synthesis to be able to transmit
an approximately exact image of the biography of Héctor J. Mele
as instrumentalist, composer, arranger and bandoneón teacher.
He was born on October the 12th of 1934 in Sarandí, a district of Avellaneda, city to which he will be in favour of when the panorama of the orchestras of tango in general, and of bandoneonista in individual, was flourishing. Don Vicente, his father, was a musical fan, who indifferently executed the guitar and bandoneón. His uncle Elías, an excellent tango dancer, was the one who made him listen to all the orchestras of the time, and since his childhood Hector began to feel attracted by the sonorous magic of the instrument.
At the age of 9 he began his studies, with professor Manuel Da Ponte, and later on perfect himself with professors of the stature of Guillermo Lopez and Alexander Barletta.
When he felt confident with the 71 keys of the instrument, he decided to join professional bands. They were duos (like the one that he belongs to nowadays with his friend, also bandoneonista, Agustín Pirolo), soon trios (like Tritango), quartets, sextets, until arriving at the great orchestras, like those of Alfredo De Angelis and Leopoldo Federico.
At the age of 22 he composes his first tango, “Momento Milonguero” that
was released by the orchestra whose adjustments he elaborates and
co directs with Armando de la Fuente. At the age of 30 he begins
to transmit his knowledge of bandoneón in the Bussolini Institute
of the city of Quilmes.
At the moment he is first bandoneón professor in the Popular School of Music of the S.A. de M. (Argentine Union of Musicians), where he has formed with his students the “Ensamble of Tango” that he directs. He does the same thing in the School of Musica Popular of Avellaneda.
His interest to reach the dominion of the musical technique takes him to perfect himself and to study harmony, counterpoint, fugue, forms musical comedy, instrumentation in 1970, with the teacher Pedro A. Aguilar, from whom he’s one of the most outstanding students.
Mele not only has offered his music in our country, but also he has done it in Bogota, Colombia, and later in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, where, inspired by the new airs, he writes two songs with the names of those two cities. But he also makes his first trip to Japan in 1988, country in which he is called to orchestrate and to co direct the Orchestra “Festival 100 years of Francisco Canaro”. Offering 23 concerts in equal amount of cities, in 1989 he returns to that country, this time as an invited soloist and integrating the “Argentine Quinteto of Arcos”.
In 1996 he participates in the contest organized by the government of the Province of Buenos Aires obtaining the first prize in the discipline of single instruments, representing his native city, Avellaneda.
As an author - and since that “Momento Milonguero” – he has composed numerous tangos: “5 notas”, “Desde the Bajo”, “Del Tiempo de Hoy”, “Monotemático”, “Extraña”, “Viejo Barracas al Sud”, “Libra” (Fugue for three vocals), “Cuatro Voces” (Fugue for four vocals), “Himno Porteño”, “Acentos”, “Nuevo Barracas al Sud”, “Recital en Sombras”, “Noviembre del 92”, “Astor”, “Sexto C” dedicated to Elsa, his wife, “Romántico Milonguero”, “Don Ernesto”, “Tritango”, “Casi un Eco”, “Mimí”, “Negro el 13”, “Aniversario”, “Breve Momento “Milonguero”, “Amanecer de Buenos Aires”, and others more.
He has made symphonic orchestrations of the tangos “Amanecer de Buenos Aires” (Adagio, prelude and fugue), “Caminando Tangos”, that was released by the Symphonic Orchestra of Avellaneda directed by the maestro José Rodriguez Faure, in which Mele occupies the seat of bandondeón solista, “Oblivion”, “Tristeza de un Doble A”, “Tanguango”, “Astor”, “Tritango”, “Viejo Barracas al Sud” and “Nuevo Barracas al Sud”.
His interest for the arc instruments has taken him to make numerous adjustments for quartets and quintets, not only in the popular field, but also in the classic one.He has also composed “Candombe del Riachuelo” and the Milonga “Bandera Verde”, as well as “Invenciones a dos Voces” and “Sonata Clásica”, both of them for bandoneón, a Symphony and Sinfonieta titled “Mi Ciudad”. But the culmination of his task as a composer will arrive soon, when he concludes the piece in which he’s working at the moment. As Mele considers that the tango can be pronounced through several musical sorts, he is elaborating an opera, that would surely have the smell of Buenos Aires and its inhabitants.
The recognition to his long trajectory arrives in 1985 when the Undersecretary's office of Culture of Avellaneda summons him to direct the “Municipal Orquesta of Tango” of the city, and his performances at the “Teatro Roma” - relic of the beautiful time, whose acoustics is only comparable to the “Colón Theatre” of Buenos Airs-, allow their numerous admirers to enjoy his quality as arranger, instrumentalist and director.
In this work, he offers a new method to study bandoneón. It is the finished synthesis of many years of effort dedicated to the education, that has given very good practical results to Mele’s students in the different Schools and Institutes where he radiates his knowledge generously. It diffusion in several languages will allow, surely, to those who want to begin and to those that have already done it, in every corner of the world, to accede to the irresistible enchantment of the sound of bandoneón. I think that it is definitely dedicated to all of them.
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