Spent the Labor Day weekend in Denver at a sisters' reunion and missed the Friday night milonga at the Mercury Cafe. But, to my great delight and surprise, it was a special weekend because the group, Extasis, and Dan Diaz, a bandoneon player, were there to play both Friday and Saturday nights. The Mercury Cafe milonga is located on the second floor at 22nd and California in Denver (a sort of SoMa area). It was just like a club in Buenos Aires, a large, rather dim yet colorful room with a very smooth dance floor surrounded by tables; a small bar at one end and a stage at the other.
Taped music was playing as I entered and met Dan Diaz at the bar, a very congenial gentlemen from Bs. As. living in Utah with a "have bandoneon, will travel" handle. Dan has a telecommunications business in Provo. Extasis is comprised of four young musicians: piano, violin, bass and celo.
Two of them, Erin (violin) and Evan (bass, I think) play in Denver's symphony orchestra. I was VERY impressed with their music; so much so that I'll try to get them to San Francisco. Though Extasis members are classically trained, they played with a great deal of sympatico for tango music and accomplished exellent interpretations of traditional tangos, as well as danceable Piazzolla pieces. Dan's mastery of the bandoneon is assured, experienced and soulful. Wow, it was like finding an oasis in a desert!
Because most folks had attended Friday night's milonga, the attendance on Saturday was a bit thinner, but by no means less friendly. The lovely folks made my sisters and I feel right at home; and I was invited to dance all evening and got some terrific dances, too.
Being at the Mercury Cafe and listening to Extasis and Dan were the icing on my cake of visiting Denver and my sisters! A most memorable occasion - thank you Denver!"