Interview with Bertram Levy, Port Townsend, Washington

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Bertram Levy
Bertram Levy (Port Townsend, Washington)

Bertram Levy is one of the few accomplished bandoneonistas in North America. In 1989, Bertram first heard the instrument played live by Astor Piazzolla. He was so moved by Piazzolla’s music that he abandoned all his other musical endeavors to pursue the bandoneón. At that time Bertram was in his late forties and had achieved an international reputation as a banjo and concertina virtuoso. He had been featured on more than a dozen albums, including the Smithsonian CD compilation American Folk Music. He had also authored the definitive concertina tutor The Concertina Demystified, was chosen as banjo player of the year by Frets magazine, and was highlighted in several national broadcasts of The Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. In addition, he created and directed the most prestigious instrumental folk music festival in the United States: the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. Bertram’s first bandoneón lessons were with Miguel Varvello in Buenos Aires in 1991 and later in Paris with Cesar Stroscio. In 2005, Bertram enrolled in the Conservatorio Manuel de Falla in Buenos Aires to study classical bandoneon with the great Rodolfo Daluisio. He founded Tangoheart in 1999 to introduce Pacific Northwest audiences to authentic Argentine tango. He currently lives both in Washington State and in Buenos Aires, where he continues his studies with Rodolfo Daluisio.

Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 10/23/2020.
Raquel Paraíso
Music; United States; Covid-19 Pandemic
Port Townsend, Washington
Musicians in America during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Society for Ethnomusicology

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