In deep sorrow we got the news that our dear friend and maestro Alfredo Marcucci passed away at the age of 81 years.He was a very talented bandoneon-player who already at a young age performed professionally together with his uncle Carlos Marcucci, a famous virtuoso on the bandoneon and the writer of an important bandoneon-learning-method.Alfredo performed with toporchestras of the Argentinian tango like those of Juan Canaro, Carlos di Sarli and Julio de Caro. After many tours all over the world, a.o. with the group ‘Los Paraguayos’ he retired from music and settled down in Belgium, where for about 25 years he worked as a janitor of an industrial plant.But in the early eighties Dirk van Esbroeck and Juan Masondo looked him up to form with him a tango-trio.Alfredo took his beloved bandoneon out of the cupboard and threw himself on his old passion with full dedication.
I remember how I met him: in April 1984. I saw his good friends José Libertella and Luis Stazo of Sexteto Mayor perform in Paradiso in Amsterdam, the very first bandoneon-players I ever saw playing live. The next day I performed myself, at the time still with concertina and squeeze-box, in Scheveningen in the Theater aan de Haven. There also played the trio Marcucci, Masondo & Van Esbroeck with the programme ‘Tango y otras milongas’.I was overwhelmed by the magic play of Marcucci, whom I met after his performance. He sent to me music for bandoneon and I remember him pointing out with a red ballpoint where to play with the bellows opening or closing (‘Abriendo y Cerrando’).When I finally owned a real Alfred Arnold-bandoneon, a Doble A, things really started. Alfredo invited me for a bandoneon-course during the summerstages in Neufchateau in Wallony.There was a second pupil, a Argentinian professor from Cologne, who played the bandoneon as a hobby. A year later he asked me to take over the course, he said: I have performances in that month and as Piazzolla invited you personally to New York, you now are perfectly capable to lead the course.Yet he came by himself and we could play together and perform. Also I was his stand-in for a tour of his trio. And Alfredo played more than ever, not only with Dirk van Esbroeck and Juan Masondo, but also with the Uruguayan guitar-player Baltazar Benitez, with Sexteto al Sur, Veritango, etc., etc. When I called him he most of the times sat in the train or in his car on his way to the next dancesalon or concerthall. On occasion of his 75-th birthday many musicians performed as a homage for Alfredo, among which also my Sexteto Canyengue. I wrote a tango then for him. Fantastic to stand so fully in music-life at that age!It was a big loss for him whena couple of years ago his youthfriend and collegue José Libertella died, with whom he once played by Di Sarli.Alfredo too got serious healthproblems, but astonishing enough he stayed very active and performed a.o. also together with his friend Luis Stazo.Shortly, on 21 June, Luis will celebrate his 80-th birthday and his 70 years jubilee on the stage. How sad that Alfredo will not be there….Querido Alfredo, te vamos a extrañar mucho, we will miss you, our best regards to the fantastic ‘orquestra tipica’ in which you will play up there!Carel Kraayenhof and Thirza Lourens.
We are very grateful for who he was