When four classically trained musicians come together to explore their passion for tango, the result is nothing short of delightful. Quartango takes tango in new directions, with impeccable arrangements, subtle and unexpected allusions to classical music, and a liberal dose of humour, all woven together by the elegant interplay of ensemble playing at its best. Quartango offers up a varied repertoire ranging from the best-loved classic tangos to tango nuevo and Piazzolla, and also explores other genres from jazz and ragtime to waltzes and Celtic jigs in its own inimitable style. Quartango has charmed audiences across Canada and in Tokyo, Taipei, Paris and New York. They stole the show at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops in 1996, and received enthusiastic accolades for their performances at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival. The group's appearances with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and the National Arts Centre Orchestra were a hit with critics and audiences alike. Quartango breathes new life into a genre that has a tendency to become mired in nostalgia or bridled by a rigid purism.
The four members are equally at home in an intimate chamber music setting, with a symphony orchestra or at a jazz festival. The effervescent chemistry between the musicians and their engaging rapport with the audience create a memorable musical experience that never fails to bring down the house Stéphane Allard (violin) - Quartango's affable frontman has a penchant for jazz and electric instruments. And, when he's on his best behaviour, he plays in the orchestra. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Boston, where he was honored with the Stéphane Grappelli Jazz Masters Award in 1985. The tango is well served by Stéphane's versatility. René Gosselin (double bass) - A consummate entertainer, Quartango's pyrotechnician of the double bass is also a member of the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and principal double bass with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal. A founding member of Quartango, René also teaches at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal. Richard Hunt (piano and arrangements) - Richard is a founding member of Quartango; it is his sophisticated arrangements that give the group its unmistakable sound.
He has performed with the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and has taught at McGill University. Several of his compositions have been recorded. Denis Plante (bandoneon) - Equally at home in tango, jazz or classical music, Quartango's newest member plays with of several ensembles, including the early music group Ensemble Claude-Gervaise. Since completing a bachelor's degree in jazz performance at Concordia University in 1997, Denis has worked as a bandoneonist, jazz guitarist, arranger and composer.