Carlos Gardel & his eight Guitarists

During his career, Gardel had eight guitarists. In 1912, Francisco Martino (1884-1938) joined him and Saúl Salinas (1882-1921) in 1913. By the end of 1913, both of them quit. In 1915, Jose Ricardo, the concert guitarist, joined the duet, seconding Gardel. Other guitarists (below) played for them in the later years. It is to be noted that of the last six guitaristsSaúl Salinas, Jose Razzano y Francisco Martino en 1902. who worked with Gardel, none of them arrived at the Biblical 70 years of age. Two of them, Guillermo Desiderio Barbieri (39) and Ángel Domingo Riverol (43), died with Gardel in Medellin in 1935. José (Negro) Ricardo, (who split up with Gardel in 1929), died on May 2,1937 on the passenger ship "Massilia" at the age of 49. José Maria Aguilar, after the Medellin disaster, never fully recovered the use of his hands and eyes. On Dec. 21, 1951, at the age of 60, coming out of a pool hall, he was run over by a car. Domingo Julio Vivas continued working as a guitarist until 1952, when he died as a result of a post-operative complication. He was 57. Horacio Pettorossi lived the longest. He died in Mar del Plata on Christmas day of 1960 at age 64. With his death, there was no-one left who had performed with Gardel live since José Razzano (1887-1960) had passed away earlier that year (age 73). It is to be noted that another gutarist,  Rafael Iriarte, played guitar for Gardel's Barcelona recordings. Iriarte knew Gardel since 1907. You can read more about Gardel's guitarists here. Guillermo Barbieri and Gardel's guitarists - Barbieri is interviewed by "Revista Cancionera" Montevideo, 1933 (in Spanish). It might intrest you to know that the following Gardel songs include the "grave" voice of José Maria Aguilar. Tangos: Dos en uno, Fierro Chifle and Ché Bartolo. Pasodobles: Trianera and Las flores de tu balcón. Source: La Historia del Tango Vol. 9 Carlos Gardel, p. 1490.
  1. You will enjoy this rare 1928 guitar rendition of "La Cumparsita" by José Ricardo, Guillermo Barbieri and José María Aguilar (no Gardel). 
  2. Here is "9 de julio" also by  by José Ricardo, Guillermo Barbieri and José María Aguilar (no Gardel). 

Gardel and his guitarists in one of the Ten Short Films, Argentina, 1930 

Gardel with Riverol, Vivas and Barbieri - 1930

Gardel with his guitarists in 1930
Gardel with Angel Riverol, Julio E. Vivas and Guilliermo Barbieri in 1930

Gardel and his guitarists in 1933
Gardel and his guitarists in 1933. From left to right:
Angel Domingo Riverol, Guillermo Barbieri and Julio Vivas.

Gardel in Montevideo in 1933
Historical photo by Florencio Napoli on Oct. 6, 1933 at CX16 Radio Carve, Montevideo.
He was accompanied by his four guitarists: Barbieri, Pettorossi, Riverol and Vivas 
although only we can only see Riverol and Pettorossi.

Gardel with Vivas, Barbieri, Pettorosi and Riverol in "el stud de Maschio" on Nov. 5, 1933
(Maschio was the owner of a big Stud farm. He also owned a Stud Club, where Gardel, who as a horse owner 
and race track regular, would entertain and be entertained on many an occassion.)

Gardel with his trademark guitar which can be identified by its star-engraved hole.
He bought all of his guitars in a shop in Buenos Aires.
New York, June 17, 1934.

Vivas (front), Barbieri and  Aguilar
Vivas (front), Barbieri and  Aguilar during the fatal year 1935.

Gardel and his guitarrists, New York, March 1935.

Guitars that belonged to Gardel and Razzano These guitars belonged to
Carlos Gardel and José Razzano.
The one on the right with a star 
enclosed hole belonged to Gardel.
These guitars were a gift
from the Casa Bréyer
 in Buenos Aires.
This piano store functions 
to this day.

Museum Collection

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