Born: September 2, 1944 Primary Instrument: Piano
Pablo Ziegler is an Argentine composer based in Buenos Aires and New York City. He is currently the leading exponent of nuevo tango, thanks to the skills and reputation he gathered while working extensively as Astor Piazzolla's regular pianist from 1978 until the maestro's retirement for health reasons in 1989. In 1985 Ziegler composed the music for the film Adios Roberto, and in 1990, he established the New Tango Quartet.
His playing style, both sharply percussive and metallically lyrical, is instantly recognizable and bears some similarities to that of Vladimir Horowitz as well as some of the wistfulness of Bill Evans. As a composer he has taken Piazzolla's contrapuntal approach to tango music and added more jazz influence, notably with the regular use of a drumkit, lighter harmonies similar to those used in Bossa Nova, and extended passages of improvisation. Having created a bridge between Jazz and improvisation and the New Tango personified by Piazolla, he has been more successful with his album Bajo Cero.
Ziegler's 2005 album, Bajo Cero, earned a Latin Grammy award. On March 21, 2009 he played in Herbst Theatre in San Francisco for the Tango Meets Jazz concert, with Nestor Torres.