The Tango Saloon

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The Tango Saloon
OriginSydney, New South Wales, Australia
GenresTango, Spaghetti Western, Experimental music
Years active2005 (2005)–current
LabelsIpecac, Rufus, Romero
WebsiteOfficial website
MembersJulian Curwin
Marcello Maio
Sam Golding
John Hibbard
Mark Harris
Danny Heifetz
Jess Ciampa
Elana Stone

The Tango Saloon is an Australian experimental tango band from Sydney, Australia. Their self-titled debut, a "tango-flavored album with a twist of spaghetti western",[1] was released in 2006 by Ipecac Recordings, the American record label run by Mike Patton and Greg Werckman. It was described by Greg Prato of AllMusic (All Music Guide) as "a musical breath of fresh air in the often foul-smelling state of modern popular music".[2] Three albums have followed, Transylvania (2008), Shadows & Fog (2012) and Suspicion (2015) featuring vocalist Elana Stone. In June 2007, the band was seen supporting Ipecac label-mates Peeping Tom on the East-coast leg of their Australian tour. Other notable performances include support for Mondo Cane at Sydney Festival 2012, and for Marc Ribot in 2015 (with The Mango Balloon).

Band members[edit]

The Tango Saloon's lineup includes a number of notable musicians, including drummer Danny Heifetz from Mr. Bungle and Secret Chiefs 3. Bandleader Julian Curwin plays on occasion in Monsieur Camembert, along with accordionist Marcello Maio and double bassist Mark Harris. Band members' other projects include Darth Vegas, Hermitude, Marsala and The Fantastic Terrific Munkle. Transylvania also features a guest vocal from Mike Patton on the track Dracula Cha Cha.

The list of members:[3]

Live band:

  • Julian Curwin – guitar, keyboards
  • Marcello Maio – accordion, keyboards
  • Sam Golding – tuba, trumpet
  • John Hibbard – trombone
  • Mark Harris – double bass
  • Danny Heifetz – drums, percussion
  • Jess Ciampa – percussion
  • Elana Stone – vocals

Other musicians/guests:

  • Shenton Gregory – violin, viola
  • Christian Watson – alto & baritone sax
  • Leonie Cohen – piano
  • Svetlana Bunic – accordion
  • Alon Ilsar – drums, electronics
  • Luke Dubber – keyboards
  • Martin Kay – clarinets
  • Reuben Derrick – tenor sax
  • Kory Horwood – double bass
  • Jane Sheldon – vocals
  • Brian Campeau – vocals
  • Ilan Kidron – vocals
  • Mike Patton – vocals

The Mango Balloon[edit]

In 2010, band leader Julian Curwin developed The Mango Balloon, a stripped-back chamber version of The Tango Saloon, with a lighter sound adding lounge, exotica and continental jazz to the larger band’s tango/western blend. Aside from six members from The Tango Saloon, the recordings also feature special guests, bringing their own distinct flavour to the music – The Mango Balloon: Volume 1 (2010) Eddie Bronson (from Monsieur Camembert) on clarinets, Volume 2 (2012) Brian Campeau on vocals and guitar, Volume 3 (2014) Shenzo Gregorio on viola, and Volume 4 (2017) Matt McMahon on Rhodes electric piano.


The Tango Saloon

  • The Tango Saloon (2006)
  • Transylvania (2008)
  • Shadows & Fog (2012)
  • Suspicion (2015)

The Mango Balloon (Julian Curwin)

  • The Mango Balloon: Volume 1 (2010)
  • The Mango Balloon: Volume 2 (2012)
  • The Mango Balloon: Volume 3 (2014)
  • The Mango Balloon: Volume 4 (2017)


  1. ^ Andy Couch (2006-04-18). "Ipecac Recordings - The Tango Saloon". Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  2. ^ Greg Prato (2006-04-18). "Tango Saloon - Tango Saloon | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  3. ^ "The Tango Saloon". Retrieved 2020-04-17.

External links[edit]