One of the most important figures in contemporary South American music, Timoteo "Dino" Saluzzi was born in Campo Santo in North Argentina and led his first group at the age of 14. He began to play professionally while studying in Buenos Aires, where he also met and befriended Astor Piazzolla, then in the process of developing the Tango Nuevo idiom. In 1956, Saluzzi returned to the district of Salta to concentrate on his compositions, now consciously incorporating folk music elements. In the early 1970s he was associated with Gato Barbieri, helping the saxophonist toward a rediscovery of his own roots on such influential albums as "Chapter One: Latin America".
Saluzzi's ECM discography was launched in 1982 with a solo album, a spontaneous example of the bandoneonist's art as "storyteller"; this marked the first of many "imaginary returns" to the little towns and villages of his childhood.
From the beginning of the 1980s Saluzzi made numerous collaborations with European and American jazz musicians – amongst those initiated by ECM were meetings with Charlie Haden, Palle Mikkelborg and Pierre Favre ("Once Upon A Time - Far Away In The South”), with Enrico Rava ("Volver"), with Marc Johnson ("Cité de la Musique"), with Tomasz Stanko and John Surman (on Stanko's "From The Green Hill" album) and with Palle Danielsson ("Responsorium"). Of the 1996 recording “Kultrum” collaboration with the Rosamunde Quartett, Gramophone wrote “This particular recording is perhaps the best example I’ve yet heard of a music that rises naturally from its mixture of influences – here the South American tango and folk traditions and the European string quartet.” The orchestral “El Encuentro” takes the story to the next stage of development.
Conductor Jules Buckley has specialized in music between the idioms, and worked with musicians from Airto Moreira to Brian Eno to the Arctic Monkeys. Guest conductor with the Metropole Orchestra, he first came to wider attention in 2004 as the founder/director of the Heritage Orchestra.