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Come celebrate Argentine tango at the sweetest afternoon milonga in the Bay Area with some of the friendliest and best dancers!
Celebrate our 11th year of Empanada Milonga, sponsored by the non-profit
Orquesta Z, held usually on the 2nd Sunday of each month.
This month is a special all-dancing milonga with 4 hours of the best recorded Argentine tango music by our fabulous guest DJ Don An from Dance Blvd in San Jose.
Please join us for friendly, warm dancers from throughout the Bay Area, including our signature complimentary Juan and Susan empanadas and fine Argentine wine. 
Dance on a delicious 1920's hardwood floor in a beautiful wooden building.
No Vax/mask restriction.
Tango party with DJ, wine and food: Sunday April 14, 2024   2:00 - 6:00
 Admission: $25 at door

Empanada Milonga is a non-profit organized by Orquesa Z.

Your tax-deductible donation of any amount is greatly appreciated.

It's easy...just press the Donate button below! 

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Location Map: St. Clement's Berkeley
2837 Claremont Blvd, Berkeley CA 94705



As of our May 14, 2023 Milonga, we are no longer checking vaccinations, and masks are now optional, in alignment with the federal government, the termination of the Covid-19 emergency health regulations, and now the announcement by the World Health Organizations ending Covid restrictions.  Please join us as we celebrate the end of the pandemic, but also adhere to basic social principles: do not come if you are feeling ill, feverish.


After 18 months of Covid-19 shutdown, we are pleased to open to all our monthly milonga at the lovely St. Clement's, as we continue our 1lth year of presenting  Argentine tango in Berkeley on each 2nd Sunday of the month. Thank you our tango friends and family for supporting our non-profit endeavors for so many years and supporting Argentine tango in the Bay Area!

The beautiful St. Clement's Hall


DJ Don An
Back from his tour of Asia, Don starts another year of great music selections at Empanada Milonga 

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Next month May 12, 2024
Marcela Monzon

Next month May 12 our guest instructor will be Marcela Monzon, elegant Tanguera from Buenos Aires with Bay Area ATUSA finalist, our own James Kang!

Sun. Jan 11. 2023: Empanada Milonga featuring Trio Poema and DJ Don An

Sun. Feb 12, 2023: Milonga with workshop and demo with Andrea Monte and Adrian Durso and live music by Scott O'Day and  Elyse Weakley.
Sun. Mar 12, 2023: Milonga with live music with Cuarteto Ramilonga and DJ Don An
Sun. April 9, 2023.  cancelled for Easter weekend to support the ATUSA Championship and Festival being held in San Jose.  (Three of our Empanada Milonga regulars won 1st and 2nd place trophies at this event in open categories! Congrats Amy, Dan, and Olina!)
 Sun. May 14, 2023.  Mother's Day Empanada Milonga!!! Come join us for our festive reopening, with DJ Don An and a live music preview performance by new members of Orquesta Z, premiering new tango pieces.  Special Pre-milonga tango class with Diego and Alejandra Lanau!
 Sun. Jun 11, 2023. Empanada Milonga with DJ Don An and live tango music by Orquesta Z introducing OZ's two newest members, violinists Emily Bouton and Elena Bouton!!!!
 Sun. July 9, 2023. Empanada Milonga with Jonathan and Olivia
 Sun. Aug 13, 2023. Empanada Milonga with guest teachers Diego Lanau and Alejandra Scaravia
 Sun. Sep 10, 2023. Empanada Milonga with guest teachers Diego Lanau &Alejandra Scaravia.  Live music by Orquesta Z quintet.
 Sun. Oct 8, 2023. Empanada Milonga with guest teachers Judy & Jon, live music by Orquesta Z
Sun. Nov 12, 2023
Empanada Milonga with live music by guest band Cuarteto Ramilonga. 
Sun. Dec 10, 2023 Empanada Milonga with guest band Orquesta Z Trio.
Sun. Jan 14, 2024 Empanada Milonga with guest teachers Jonathan and 
Sun. Feb 11, 2024 Empanada Milonga with guest teachers Jonathan and Olivia
Sun. Mar 17, 2024 Empanada Milonga with guest teachers Diego Lanau and Alejandra Scaravia.
Musical guest Graham Blackburn, sax.
Sun. Apr 12, 2024 Empanada Milonga with DJ Don An
Sun. May 14, 2024 Empanada Milonga with guest teachers  Monica Monzon & James Kang


Orquesta Z Quintet from 2019


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                   THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS!

Orquesta Z is the sponsor of Empanada Milonga, in its 10th year at St. Clements.


We depend on private donations 100% to survive.  During our 2023 fundraising


we've been blessed to have the support of a number of local patrons, including:


Susan and Juan Moreno      Dan Gilliland   Chuck Randall       Deborah Coblentz


Jan Meissner    Kim Cappell      Margaret Copi   Mark Sakowski     Anneke Jong        

 and our corporate sponsor:




Orquesta Z is the non-profit sponsor of Empanada Milonga for the past 10 years at St. Clement's.


Formed in 2011, Orquesta Z is composed of San Francisco Bay Area musicians with a love for Argentine tango. Our repertoire is rich with Golden Era Argentine tangos plus modern and original compositions from today and from around the world. The tangos we play are chosen to be interesting, engaging, and most importantly danceable!

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Orquesta Z musicians








Sandy Schniewind, Contrabass

Sandy comes from a very musical Bay Area family. Her mother was Concertmaster of Prometheus Symphony until 1973, when she joined the Oakland Symphony and played with them for 38 years. Sandy learned piano from her grandmother, then played violin. In fourth grade, she played in the Kensington Community Orchestra with Robin Hansen, conducted by Bob Hansen (who just might be related to Eric Hansen).

“In sixth grade, my music teacher said, ‘we need a bass player and since you play piano, you can read bass clef. Here’s a bass.’” Sandy basically taught herself how to play it. She played it through school, but got really tired of lugging the bass around on buses. The lure of jazz and folk rock led her to singing and playing guitar with the Oakland Jazz Choir and folk rock bands—that heavy bass fell out of her life.

Meanwhile, Sandy went to UC San Diego and University of the Pacific in Stockton, getting a degree in music therapy. She’s now Director of Rehabilitation at the Gladman Mental Health Rehabilitation Center, a facility for long-term psychiatric care.

In the summer of 2009, Sandy signed up for a chamber workshop week, on piano. The Director found out she had played bass and persuaded her to borrow one of theirs and play bass instead. “I had to use Google to see if the bass would even fit in my car. I realized then that I regretted giving up such a beautiful instrument.” Sandy started taking lessons and talked with Eric Hansen about joining Prometheus.

“It’s really great for me to have my own music to balance my life out. Prometheus is really fun and I love our bass section. Plus it’s a nice family connection with my mother.” And just to keep music interesting, Sandy also plays with a tango group and a chamber orchestra.

~Joyce Vollmer









Elena Bouton, violin

“Our next door neighbor played violin and when I was about 3 years old, I just l latched onto it. I decided that’s what I wanted to play,” Elena says. So she did. Growing up in upstate New York, her Dad played guitar and her Mom piano, so they all played together sometimes. (Elena’s sister Emily Bouton, joined them on violin about four years later.)

Being so young, she used the Suzuki method, complemented with playing fiddle music, with her Dad on guitar, and making Christmas music tapes for the family.

Elena played in her school orchestras through elementary, middle and high school, and went to music summer camps with tennis and fiddle tunes. She also played in the Empire State Youth Orchestra and toured in China and Korea with that orchestra.

Elena then took a gap year after high school, living in Germany with hosts who also happened to play violin. She played in a community orchestra and had a grand time trying to follow a conductor in German.

Off to McGill University in Montreal for university. Elena played in the McGill Community Orchestra, trekking 1½ hours on the metro each way for rehearsals, which, in a Montreal winter, really shows dedication! “You don’t actually have to do these things,” Elena says, “but playing violin is so ingrained in me that I can’t imagine not playing.” Once again, she had to contend with a musical system she wasn’t familiar with (the solfège naming system, which uses Do, Re, Mi rather than C, D, E).

“You just read the conductor’s body language and gauge how loudly he’s shouting to figure out what he wants,” Elena explains. Oh! In Elena’s final year there, Emily also joined that orchestra, the first time they actually played in an orchestra together.

Elena made her way to the Bay Area for a Master’s Degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley, and now works here as an architect.

“I always prefer playing in an orchestra,” she says. “The intensity of a full orchestra, the enveloping of its full sound, is really exciting.” But that doesn’t mean she’s given up fiddling. You might also find her at a café on Irish jam night!

~ Joyce Vollmer









Emily Bouton, violin

When Emily was very, very little, she would watch her older sister, Elena Bouton, during her violin lessons. By at the advanced age of 3, she too wanted to play. Since her Dad played guitar and Mom piano, they’d often play fiddle tunes and make Christmas tapes for family.

Emily played in her school orchestras through elementary, middle and high school (four years behind Elena). She went to music summer camps, with tennis and fiddle tunes. And played in the Empire State Youth Orchestra, touring in Portugal.

Next was McGill University in Montreal for a degree in Cognitive Science and Media Studies, where Elena also was (three years ahead of her, after a gap year). While there, Emily and Elena played in the McGill Community Orchestra, contending with a French-speaking conductor and also contending with a musical system she wasn’t familiar with (the solfège naming system, which uses Do, Re, Mi rather than C, D, E).

“I made peace with not quite knowing what the conductor was yelling about.” Her first year there, Elena’s last, they played together in an orchestra for the first time.

The pandemic closed the borders and sent Emily home to New York, where she finished her degree. Feeling the need for a road trip, she came to the Bay Area, where Elena had relocated. “I liked it so much I decided to stay,” she says. She now works for A Home Away from Homelessness, a nonprofit working with children.

She stills like to play fiddle music and is venturing into R&B and soul music—on violin and as a singer. You might find her around town at Irish jams and open mike nights! “Music is a time to get out of my head, and be with a big group of people all working on something together,” Emily says. “There’s nothing really like playing in an orchestra and putting our hearts, minds and bodies into it.”

~ Joyce Vollmer




Bendrew Jong, director Orquesta Z, piano/bandoneon

Starting at 6-years old, Bendrew began piano lessons in Berkeley with the famed Shirley Adams, and continued through high school, where he was musical director, pianist, and composer for an original musical “So How’s Your Sister?” at Harry Ells High in Richmond. Then, attending UC Berkeley and graduating in Architecture, Ben took music classes through his 5 years at the University of California at Berkeley, including opera and chorus and music theory. Then taking a 40 year hiatus as a full-time architect, Bendrew discovered Argentine tango and the rest is history, first dancing tango throughout the world while in his 50’s and 60’s and now performing and composing tangos as part of Orquesta Z, which he helped form in 2013. He’s so pleased to be able to have performed with such stellar alumni of Orquesta Z as James Shallenberger, who founded the Kronos Quartet, and dozens of others who have added to the rich repertoire of Orquesta Z.

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