Kings of the swingers

Inzucare Orchesta in full swing at Teatro Roma in Avellaneda.
Inzucare Orchesta in full swing at Teatro Roma in Avellaneda.
The Avellaneda jazz festival and pizza have more than just the doubling-up of the alphabet’s last letter in common and that’s the miniature price of $20 for one or t’other. But it seems more people prefer the latter to a night out on the jazz, judging by the restaurant bursting at the seams a mere block from the Teatro Roma on Friday.

How disappointing. Cheese on dough hands down beating an evening out in a beautiful 105-year-old theatre with jazzy notes floating their way up to the ceiling. Very disappointing.

The three-floored venue, with its dazzling multi-bulbed chandelier almost taking centre stage, was frustratingly barely half-full. Not your classic jazz audience, cheek tappers who break into applause at some secret given moment only those in the club know about, Friday was the concluding event, and on the bill was the Walter Abadie Quintet, Aires de swing and the Inzucare Orchestra rounding off the festival.

I tripped over the latter online several months ago, and have been harbouring secret yet clean thoughts about seeing the 10-piece swing band play ever since. Secret, becase my usual musical passions stretch from 80s pop to anything electronic with a bit of disco thrown in and jazz slash swing don’t often top my list of priorities.

The Inzucare line-up, which has changed variously in the 13 years they’ve been together, includes saxes, clarinet, double bass, trombone and drums as well as bongo drums, and is completed by Facundo Divicenzo’s vocals and the 10 men could have walked straight off of the Reservoir Dogs film set, grubby trainers completing their retro 50s’ look.

And it certainly was a step back in time, to the days when kitsch was standard fare, telephones actually went “ring ring” and gin and tonics were compulsory at 5pm. All that was missing on stage were a few dancing girls in puffy skirts and neckerchiefs, although vocalist Divicenzo’s energy was plenty enough, what with his frantic leaping and running about.

The tracks, Lost in the Infierno, Sr Milagros and Dejenme, which you can hear online at, are perfect examples of what Inzucare about: fun verging on crazy, high-paced and uplifting. Think back to the kookiest cartoon character of them all, that coolest of cats the Pink Panther, and Inzucare’s music perfectly fits the bill for the PP to run around to.

Like the PP, I’m a bit of a night animal myself, happy as Larry to sweat it up in a club at the weekend. But I’m on the verge of starting a campaign to get more people out and appreciating live music. Why wasn’t Teatro Roma packed to the eaves? Why would people eat pizza instead of trying something new and getting a buzz from a concert? It was a fantastic alternative night out, entertaining, fun. Pizza or jazz? I know which I’d choose.

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