“Playful, Spontaneous and Sexy!” -Classical 96.3 FM

“Superstar Group” - Wholenote Magazine

“It was difficult to tell who was having more fun – the audience or the performers!”

— Ontario Arts Review

Payadora Tango Ensemble has made a memorable mark on the Canadian music scene with their accomplished ensemble playing and toe tapping energetic versions of the Argentinian tango, the form the world loves to listen, play and dance to. 

The traditional tango is represented by the perfect performance of Adios Muchachos/I Get Ideas. The Adios portion is a more traditional performance with guest vocals by Elbio Fernandez. Then a walk on the jazzier side happens as Wolkstein sings the English words. There are two original arrangements of Argentinian folk songs, but most fun is hearing Brahms step across the dance floor in the unique Horvath arrangement of Hungarian Dance No.1.

Each musician is a star soloist in their own right. Playing together has allowed them to develop and mature turning Payadora into a superstar group.
—  From CD review by Tiina Kiik for the Whole Note Magazine  February 2018.
As the English translation of their second album Volando suggests, Toronto-based Payadora takes ‘flight’ on this love letter to the melodic and rhythmic traditions of tango. Wolkstein’s violin slinks and sashays across the dance floor. “A celebration of tango’s elasticity-a precise and vibrant reimagining of Brahm’ Hungarian Dance No. 1. As gypsy accordion and corkscrew violin whirl around the campfire, romance and whimsy dance cheek to cheek, and mercurial mood swings seem free and easy.
— Strings Magazine, May 2018.
The group has assembled a thoroughly enjoyable set of tunes for this, their second album. “Niebla Oscura” is one of several original compositions on the album and was composed by the album’s producer Drew Jurecka. This quieter, more meditative composition gives all four musicians a chance to shine and share varied aspects of their talents; it has the feel of chamber music rather than tango. “Volando” was composed by the group’s violinist, Rebekah Wolkstein. The piece is well constructed and builds from a suspenseful beginning to a dramatic climax.  “Tavasz,” written by pianist Robert Horvath, brings a hint of his native Hungary to the table in a lovely piano solo before the rest of the group enters. “Adios Muchachos / I Get Ideas” blends the sounds of tango and jazz seamlessly in a luscious stew, while “La Humilde” and “Nostalgias Tucumanas” offer fun interpretations of two Argentinian folk songs.  The album closes with a surprising and awesome reading of Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 1 that I find utterly addictive – like the whole project.  Even if you aren’t familiar with tango music, this album provides an accessible introduction to the genre by four hugely talented musicians who clearly have a passion for it.  Highly, highly recommended.”                                                                                                       
— From CD review by The Great Dark Wonder, January 2018. 
Centred on the large repertoire drawn from the Buenos Aires tango tradition, Payadora has not neglected homegrown talents, premiering its pianist Horvath’s first tango composition Tavasz... The work began with a slow free tempo exploration on the piano, but then gained steam propelled by the tango rhythm, relying on virtuoso interplay between all four instrumentalists. In addition to tango, Payadora also performed two Argentinian vernacular dance music genres which received polished, sophisticated renderings by the musicians and served to expand the audience’s appreciation of that country’s musical expression beyond that of the tango. The intimate Gallery 345 concert closed with an enthusiastic encore. It was clear that Payadora’s fans – attracted by its musicians’ playful unforced technical virtuosity, rhythmic precision, and evident commitment to the tango repertoire and ethos – are ready for much more
— From Andrew Timar's review for the Whole Note Magazine, May, 2017.
Toronto-based Payadora Tango Ensemble showcase their enormous respect for the style and their phenomenal performing talents in a jam-packed 12 tango release. Payadora’s musicians are each superstars in their own right. Together they each remain as soloists yet with superb individual listening skills blend tightly as an ensemble. A welcome diverse collection of tango music performed with detailed musical nuances. Enjoy this timeless release!
— From CD review by Tiina Kiik for Whole Note Magazine  November, 2105.
The capacity audience leapt to their feet cheering, whistling and calling for encores after a totally moving and energizing concert. Each composition was so different and unique from the others ... all with first-class orchestral accompaniments showcasing this new, vibrant and ultra-talented ensemble!
— Daniel Warren, conductor, after the concert with London Symphonia, March, 2017.
Payadora’s concert presented by Group of 27 was a huge hit! The place was packed, the music was fantastic, and the audience loved it ... Can’t wait to have them back!
— Eric Paetkau, conductor, music director of Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. April, 2015.
It was difficult to tell who was having more fun – the audience or the performers!
— From a concert review by Judith Caldwell for Ontario Arts Review. November, 2015.
Payadora is a full-on epic masterful musical experience!
— John Bailey, recording and mixing engineer. November, 2015.
The players are first rate and together they elevate the tango to such an extent that you don’t want the concert to end ... Beautiful music, beautifully played - who could ask for more?
— Tim Dawson, double bassist with Toronto Symphony, artistic director of Kingston Road Village Concert Series. December, 2014.
With influences from Argentina to Eastern Europe to the great Astor Piazzolla, Payadora plays the tango like it’s meant to be: sultry, steamy, but with grace and precision. You will be entertained!
— Howard Druckman, editor, Words+Music Magazine. October, 2015.
Thank you for bringing your admirable artistry and infectious energy to the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. The large and very diverse audience was clearly thrilled and I think it’s safe to say that Payadora gained a lot of new fans yesterday.
— Nina Draganic, director of programming, Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. January, 2015.
The group exhibits the highest degree of professionalism, with lyrical and technical agility evident when required. Payadora fills a unique niche and is a joy to experience.
— Joseph Macerollo, O.C., Canadian classical accordion icon