Antonio Orlando D'Abato is 86 years old, he lives in Villa Dominico with his daughter Carina and since he was young he has dedicated himself to playing music and keeping the milonga and tango alive. “It's our music,” he said in dialogue with TN with the hope that those classics can once again be part of the culture of the youngest.
Antonio, better known to his friends as “Toto”, learned the mechanic's trade at the age of 12 with the help of his father. Some time later he began working in the Argentine Navy and then was part of the engine sector of a major automotive company. But, his passion and focus was always on music. “We played with friends, it all started like that to liven up the group's parties,” he said.
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When he was a boy he bought a console and began playing music with his friends as a “hobby.” (Photo: Courtesy Antonio Orlando D'Abato)
Although he dedicated himself to running his bodywork and painting workshop for more than 60 years, music was always present. “I dedicated myself to playing music since before the profession of DJ existed. I bought the tray and with some friends we got together to play music. Sometimes, just for fun and other times on birthdays,” he explained.
Although, the boom in his career as a DJ, or hobby as he wants to call it, happened almost without thinking in the middle of the pandemic. While the world was shocked and worried about COVID 19, Toto was able to find a joy amidst the lockdown. “One day I shared a tango with the WhatsApp group of friends we have called 'Caminito' and from that moment on they started asking me to continue sending them. That's how I started sending three songs a day, with the help of my daughter,” he recalled with a laugh.
Toto spends around 4 or 5 hours choosing the topics he is going to talk about. (Photo: Courtesy Antonio Orlando D'Abato)
That moment was the perfect kickstart for him to continue developing his passion. “The owner of the Boca A Boca bar called us when everything opened so we could talk about some topics. She also played some tangos and some milongas at the Retirement Centers,” she explained and added: “Once a month we go with my daughter and a partner to play music at La Vitrola, in La Plata.”
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“I say it's my hobby, but it's a passion. Sometimes he heard songs that I don't know, I write them down, look for them and so next time I can skip them. We do all of this with care and love and people notice that, I can assure you,” he told TN.
The first Saturdays of each month there is music at La Vitrola in La Plata. (Photo: Courtesy Antonio Orlando D'Abato)
In turn, he explained that “now that he has more time he spends between 4 and 5 hours” choosing the playlist he wants to play at events. “Everything with my daughter who helps me with the issue of technology,” she concluded.