Tango is alive and well in Colombia—in fact, Medellin is one of the foremost places in the world to come and enjoy this sensual music and dance.
When Carlos Gardel, a famous tango singer, died in an airplane crash in 1935 while touring Colombia, he left the city with a legacy and a goal—to continue his love and passion for tango. The city has kept that memory alive and celebrates it on street corners, in annual festivals and in monuments around the city.
The yearly International Tango Festival commemorates Gardel’s death, and the city comes alive with the rhythms and moves of tango as national and international musicians, dancers and singers delight audiences. The Museum Casa Gardeliana has done its part to keep the love of tango alive over the years by promoting the life and music of Gardel with programs and dance classes, as well as singing and instrument lessons.
At the Olaya Herrera Airport where the artist died, Medellin remembers Carlos Gardel with the Plaza Gardel, where a sculpture sits of the artist singing and playing guitar while a couple dances in the background. The San Pedro Cemetery Museum is also part of the tango route in Medellin, since Carlos Gardel was temporarily laid to rest there. The roots and heritage of tango can be seen at restaurants like El Patio del Tango (Tango Patio) and Restaurante La Rueca, where live shows take place weekly, with outstanding tango dancers and musicians.
Colombia and Medellin provide a view of the passion Colombians have kept alive for the work and love of a truly great musician.