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Three times Grammy Nominee (2011,2010, 2007) Vayo is the heart, soul, and voice of the Tango of today. Born and raised in Uruguay, he has made his home in the United States for many years.
Vayo Raimondo is a unique artist in the history of Tango who sings and writes his compositions and lyrics, and arranges and produces his own new music. He also works on other genres, classical, Latin, and World. While he sings primarily in Spanish he is equally expressive in English. All these attributes are spotlighted on his new album titled "Nuestro Ultimo Tango" (Our Last Tango) in which Vayo interprets 17 of his own tangos and milongas in an ample range of innovative styles.
Vayo’s distinctive singing is smooth and melodic, but also powerful, soulful and dramatic. He values the tango traditions that are part of his formative years. The link between his new music and the old tangos is his exclusive use of acoustic instruments. Interacting with his select group of musicians who are masters of the tango genre, Vayo’s vocal interpretations inhabit the mood of each theme and develop the drama of the lyrics with an original point of view.
In his continuing evolution as an artist, Vayo keeps his music alive and vital, and makes it speak to today’s audiences. Focused on the message, he fashions his singing manner and phrasing to tell the story in the lyrics. He feels that the mood and state of mind of each theme are of outmost importance and that the musical ensemble must also be consistent in serving what is being expressed.
For each of his albums, Vayo has returned to his native Montevideo to work and record with world-class tango musicians there. During more than two decades of work in his native city, he was joined by Maestros Miguel Pose, Julio Cobelli, Toto Damario, Nestor Vaz, Edison Bordon and other gifted musicians. In his tango compositions and lyrics Vayo also offers many of own innovations on the traditional tango structure. "The new music requires the continuing evolution of the genre" Vayo explains.
"During our intense sessions in Montevideo we record our music with the minimal necessary rehearsal in order to keep it fresh, spontaneous, expressive, and often surprising." states Vayo. "After I select my own material, I speak to the musicians about the intention of the work, the musical structure, and tempo. Following my arrangement or instant pointers, we develop the pace, rhythms, transitions, and variations of the melody. A few passes to polish the phrasing and to hear the ensemble are enough to move into recording. We usually capture the performance we want in a few takes. Spontaneity makes the work exciting as musicians experience the surprise of discovering new music and the enjoyment of their own instinctive interpretation."
Vayo has surrounded himself with art throughout his life, but his active life in music began after success and maturing in a technical career. His classical compositions were played by the BBC in London, and he created the music for a solo performance by Irek Mukhamedov at the "Benois de la Dance" at the Sadlers Wells Theatre.
Vayo lectured at European Universities on the history of Tangos and Milongas. He created a musical from his compositions, performing with Irek Mukhamedov on a European Tour, accompanied by ballet dancers and an ensemble of tango musicians.
"At first tango was simply a part of my formative life, and later a sentimental way to remind me of my past. Eventually I understood the value of keeping tango music alive, but also to make it relevant to contemporary audiences. While I continue to relate to the good music of the past and its traditions, the music I make today must be reflective of our present world."
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