Cherokee Kid

Jim Alberty is a member of the Bird Clan of the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma. Born in Claremore, OK he now lives in Maine, working as a composer, writer and Creative for Apple. He is active in the Casco Bay area arts and education communities as a composer, musician, social dancer and actor.


Argentine Tango came into my life about 7 years ago.  I've had lessons - terpsichorean and social - learning about the three styles of the dance - Vals (waltz), Milonga (quick step) and Tango (four-beat dance).

The music - the dance - the culture.

I am not Argentinian - but writing the small, elegant short-story form is very attractive to me. The pieces are written for friends, birthdays, special occasions or to drown out the scratching of the hour of the wolf in the middle of the night.

Eventually these pieces will be for sale and download - for the moment, please enjoy these examples. More are on my YouTube channel.

A tango vals for my friends with October birthdays - or people whom I experience as "October People", those who acknowledge, honor and perhaps enjoy Fall ..... leaves, cooler evenings, lengthening shadows, layers of clothes, the richness of transition. The Avian Chemist, the Squeezebox Doctor, the Tall Woman in Short Shoes, the Nurse in the Home ....

A milonga for a friend who's been away for been away for 730 days or so. Milongas - double quickstep dances - NOT a tango, as another friend is fond of saying - milongas are pre-tango folk like dances known to build trust between leaders and followers and also to build aerobic capacity.

"The Black Dog Learns to Dance" - Native Americans tend to give gifts on their birthdays and this is my gift to my many friends. The name comes from a video (which is here - which uses the image to characterize depression. It came within a hair's breadth of killing me.

"A Dance for Napoleon and Antosia" - who are two donkeys in a Polish Zoo - they have been together for over ten years and have enthusiastically produced 6 foals. A little "too" enthusiastically as a local (conservative) politician was persuaded to "persuade" the zoo to separate the donkeys in the "interest of public" decency.

"Enséñeme a Bailar" - "Teach Me to Dance" - this is a birthday piece for a Peloponnesian friend of mine, a Greek of many and varied accomplishments.

"Born Under a Dancing Star" - the title loosely adapted from "Much Ado About Nothing", the music adapted from the letters E A C E, which come from a German guest who graced our community here in Portland, Maine for the last year. This person has since returned "nach heimat" and is still very much missed.