Rubén Juárez, a leading Argentine tango singer and bandoneon player, died May 31 of 2010 in Buenos Aires of colon cancer. He was 62.
Rubén Juárez was born November 5 of 1947 in Ballesteros (Córdoba province). Soon, his family moved to Avellaneda, settling in the Sarandi district. At age six he started taking bandoneon classes from maestro Domingo Fava. He also liked to sing, but his teacher encouraged him to stick to the bandoneon because he showed great progress. Nevertheless, he kept singing and learned how to play guitar.
At 16 he formed a rock band with boys from his barrio, named “The Black Coats”. He stayed with the band two years, until he was asked to join “Los Tammys”. The band reformed and became “Los Telestars”. This experience lasted two years.
But it was tango and bandoneon that really made his career. In 1956 he joined the Orquesta Típica del Club Atlético Independiente. He stayed with them for three years. Rubén Juárez performed at peñas (fan clubs), social events and even contests as a singer and bandoneon performer. During weekdays he worked at a factory. In the weekends, Juárez and his friend, guitarist Héctor Arbello, performed throughout Argentina’s heartland as duo.
During one of their weekend performances, the duo had a gig in Teodolina (Santa Fe province), where they met renowned tango singer Horacio Quintana in 1969. Quintana heard Rubén Juárez sing and he introduced Rubén to the legendary tango club Caño 14 and the “Odeón” record label, where he recorded a single titled “Para vos Canilla”. The recording and his performance at Caño 14 caused quite a star in the tango world. He was seen as much needed new blood to renovate tango. Aníbal Troilo “Pichuco” became his musical godfather.
Soon after, Rubén Juárez appeared on TV and toured Venezuela, Colombia and Uruguay. His first LP came out with orchestral arrangements by Carlos García. Other recordings followed, including “Nuevos Tangos” and “Viejos Tangos.”
He received several Argentine musical awards and continued performing throughout Argentina and abroad, including frequent tours to Spain, France and the United States.