Norberto Gradilone
Caminito, La Boca

“I’ve been playing here for just three years but my story with the bandoneon began a long time ago. I was born listening to a bandoneon because my father played. When I was 11 I learned to play myself. I had an argument with my mom because she didn’t want me to learn. She said: ‘bandoneon players are lazy; they don’t study; they become drunks.’ Not all of them, just some, but I kept my promise to her: I worked for 54 years in another job, nothing to do with this. I put the bandoneon aside. When I was 42 I stopped practicing altogether; I wasn’t interested anymore. But after 20 years, I came back. My parents had passed away 30 years before. I continued doing things the same way as when I was working. I didn’t start doing those things some people do without even having to be an artist, a musician or a poet. One learns a certain conduct and it becomes a part of who you are. I avoided those things that go against your finances and against your health. You could be a priest and still do those things. You’re not a saint because you’re a priest; nor are you a lost cause because you’re a musician. So now I can say that I’ve been a working man for 57 years.”

Diego and Zoraida by People of Tango

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