One of the most important figures in contemporary South American music, Dino Saluzzi was born in Campo Santo in North Argentina in 1935 and led his first group at the age of 14. He began to play professionally while studying in Buenos Aires. In 1956, Saluzzi returned to the district of Salta to concentrate on his compositions, now consciously incorporating folk music elements. It was not until the 1970s that he began to make recordings. His 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, Enrico Rava, Tomasz Stanko and John Surman. Of the 1996 recording “Kultrum” collaboration with the Rosamunde Quartet, 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.” On “Navidad de Los Andes”, South American and European influences are further interwoven.
The spectrum of cellist Anja Lechner’s work is exceptionally broad, and takes in the classical tradition, contemporary music and improvisation in different traditions. She is a member of François Couturier’s Tarkovsky Quartet and the trio Melos with Vassilis Tsabropoulos and U.T. Gandhi. For 17 years Lechner was cellist with the Rosamunde Quartet, whose ECM albums include recordings of music of Tigran Mansurian, Valentin Silvestrov, Thomas Larcher, Ottmar Schoeck, Anton Webern, Dmitri Shostakovich, Joseph Haydn, and more. A final Rosamunde disc, with music of Boris Yoffe, performed in collaboration with the Hilliard Ensemble, will be released by ECM New Series in September 2011.
Felix Saluzzi helped to create a role for the saxophone in the Tango Nuevo, with the terse, vocal tone of his tenor. As clarinettist he has played across a broader range of music and during the 1980s was clarinet soloist in the Orquesta Sinfónica de Buenos Aires.