Talking about Ensamble 96, a new bandoneon project from the Chilean bandoneon player Alfonso Covarrubias. Talking about Ensamble 96, a new bandoneon project from the Chilean bandoneon player Alfonso Covarrubias.

Ensamble 96

Alfonso Covarrubias's new project

About Alfonso Covarrubias

Ensamble 96 is a Chilean Quintet (Bandoneon, Alto Sax, Bass, Keyboard and Drums) formed during 2020. The Ensamble is a creation of bandoneonist Alfonso Covarrubias, former bandoneon player for Tango Quintet Calle Tango in Chile and Septeto La Hoguera in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Covarrubias also played bass in several Rock bands before learning to play the bandoneon.

Alfonso Covarrubias, Chilean bandoneon player.

About Ensamble 96

Ensamble 96's instrumental music is a mixture of many popular music styles from the XXth century. Some compositions show the distorted bass guitar from rock music, others have the staccato-motives from argentinian tango, while some other section from the same piece plays over a funky keyboard.

The music is written to show how different instruments, normaly associated with different music stiles, can dialogue in compositions that could be considered written under the influence of progressive music and the RIO (Rock In Opposition) movement. The Ensemble takes inspiration from artists like Astor Piazzolla, Fred Frith, Grover Washington Jr. and Nick Cave's the Birthday Party, and others.

About the EP

This debut EP was recorded during the Pandemics between 2020 and 2021.

Ensamble 96 EP cover

It has four compositions written by Covarrubias.

Aviador, with its soul-influenced bass lines, country-blues bandoneon melodies, jazzy bridge and some heavy piano and bass backbeat at the end.

Angelo Cherry, a bass-driven Reggae with bandoneon, dedicated to the homonym Chilean bandoneon player.

Ansiedad Tango, A 7/4 piece that blends with some funky chorus, a J.S. Bach inspired polyphonic section between the sax and the bass and a funk ending. This is a music piece inspired by the anxiety-inducing Pandemics during 2020.

At last, Arañas is a slow and "noir" funk piece with its spider-inspired bass lines, the melancholic sax melody and the minimal bandoneon, keyboard and drum sounds.

In this musical pieces there are more surprises to be found than the features just enunciated. The EP is a short musical experience that needs to be heard several times to get all the details hidden in it.

Ensamble 96 are:

  • Alfonso Covarrubias - Bandoneon
  • Felipe Moraga - Bass guitar
  • Juan Castillo - Drums
  • Cristopher Guajardo - Drums
  • Milenasax - Alto Saxophone
  • Edén Carrasco - Alto Saxophone
  • Brunos Simonetti - Keyboards


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