Welcome to the Nestor Ray's Memorial Site
"Aqui esta la elegancia, 
que pinta, que silueta, 
que porte, que arrogancia, 
que clase pa'bailar."

The tango is in mourning for the loss of Nestor Ray. On May 22, 2003 at 4 PM local time in Buenos Aires, peacefully at home and in the arms of his sister Josefa and her daughters,  Nestor Ray closed his eyes and begun his journey into eternity.

His friends, colleagues and disciples present this website to honor his memory and celebrate his legacy as an authentic ambassador of tango.

Read the hommage to Nestor Ray published on the last hard copy issue of El Firulete.

Testimonials Funeral Fund Donors Photos

Total Amount: $50.00
Item Title: Nestor Ray's Funeral Fund
Item Number: via Planet Tango
Buyer: Walter Kane

Para Nestor Ray de parte de Walter & MariLynne Kane

Dear Nestor,

We were only together on one occasion, but it was an important occasion in our tango life. You and Patricia were our teachers at Planet Tango's Labor Day Getaway in 2000.

You taught milonga.

We were together for three classes. As the classes progressed, two things became clear. One was that you two were completely dedicated to giving us your best.... you really wanted us to learn to dance milonga, and you committed all your energies to accomplish that. The other was that learning it was going to be fun...you delighted  us with your clowning, which did not disguise your skill.

You were successful on both counts. Before that weekend, we were never confident about getting out on the floor for milonga. By the time it was over, all that changed. You provided the breakthrough for us. Since then we can't stay off the floor when milonga plays.

Whenever we dance milonga now we think of you.

Thank you.

With love,

Walter & MariLynne Kane
(Los Tangringos)
Harriman, NY

Para Nestor de parte de TimmyTango, Cleveland, Ohio

I only spent 7 days with Nestor and Patricia, on two occasions, and it was like Nestor and I bonded together like brothers each time. I don't know if any one else felt this feeling, but I'm sure it happens everywhere he stays.
Nestor was to be the best man at my wedding. But do to many matters, that didn't happen. It was a very sorrowful day for me not to have Nestor here on my special day. The two weeks before I was very concerned because we couldn't find him, and I spent many hours writing people to see if they knew where he was.

If one was to look at my dancing style, any one would say I resemble Nestor. And that says what my feelings are for Nestor. I am definitely not as smooth as Nestor, but I'm getting better every day. I love the traspie and smoothness of all his dancing. The quickness, spontaneity, and playfulness will always be remember by me. Just yesterday Joanne and were watching the video of when he was here and practicing some of his moves. One of the best parts of being a promoter in my city is when the guest teachers stay in my home. Some I don't get very close to, but it's hard not to get close to Nestor. His willingness to share everything he know, so everyone can tango better.

On my honeymoon in BsAs last month, I was speaking to many of the Milongueros there, Much respect was shown to Nestor whenever his name popped up. I know
He is loved and respected by everyone there. I don't know what else to say, other than I love you Nestor

Para Nestor de parte de Steve Fox y Donna Lefurgey

Dear Nestor,
When we had just started learning tango and meeting Portenos, you were one of the teachers at Alberto and Valorie's Reno event in 2000.  You charmed us with your
energy, warmth, humor, and fantastic footwork.  Someone took a picture after the workshop of you and Steve dancing apilado.  It remains on our wall, one of our
dearest memories of an unforgettable teacher.  We hold you in our hearts and wish that you be well and happy.  Sweet man, know how much you are loved all over the

Steve and Donna

Nestor Has Left Us

Dear Friends:

Sadly, the tango world has lost another great milonguero, maestro and friend. I just heard from Patricia Garcia (Nestor's ex-wife) that Nestor Ray died just a few hours ago. He had apparently been in a coma since yesterday or the day before. At the very least, he was able to return to his beloved Buenos Aires and die with his family near him. Thanks to those of you who helped him over the past year while he was battling the cancer that destroyed his body. Before he returned to Buenos Aires he told me how much the support of his students, friends and colleagues meant to him. Those of us who were present at Norah's Place for the little benefit that we organized for Nestor a few weeks ago will never forget seeing him dance for the last time. As frail as he was, he danced a tango with Guillermina Quiroga in his signature rhythmic, playful style. Although it was obviously a tremendous strain on him, he then insisted on dancing a milonga. It was something to see! And the love and respect obvious on Guillermina's face as she followed him was incredibly touching. Nestor taught me so much. I know I am a better dancer and teacher because of him. I will miss him.

--Linda Valentino

Tango is in mourning, Nestor Ray died today

Today May 22, 2003 at 4 PM Buenos Aires local time, our dearest Nestor Ray passed away, fifteen days after he had returned to his beloved Buenos Aires.

His sister Josefa Luisa Riaino indicated that he died peacefully following a cardiac arrest and that his body is currently resting at her home in the locality of Moron, outside the capital city of Buenos Aires, pending funeral arrangements.

We know for a fact that Nestor's family can use a significant amount of financial aid to provide Nestor with a decent and dignified funeral, and we are at this time making arrangements to wire money to Buenos Aires to the tune of $750 via Western Union by tomorrow's day end.

Anybody interested in contributing to this fund should contact Valorie and I via e-mail or telephone (504.894.1718) until we find the best way to direct all contributions so they can reach Nestor's sister ASAP.

Of course, anybody who wishes to approach the subject of Nestor's death, send messages of condolences, and/or see to his family's needs for assistance, may do so by using the following contact,

Josefa Luisa Riaino
Pueyrredon 384 - Dept. 3
(1706) Moron
Provincia de Buenos aires

Telephone: 5411-4443-1898 and cell number 5411-4415-6638 (From the USA dial 011 first)

We will always remember the contagious and joyful nature of Nestor's personality and dancing style.
We hope that his legacy will be one of hard work, honesty and generosity.

Que descanses en paz, hermano, que Dios te bendiga y que tu alma este siempre presente cuando suene un tango de D'Arienzo.

Alberto and Valorie
Planet Tango
New Orleans, LA

Se nos fue Nestor Ray!! Laura te llora desde Roma...

Nos dejo Nestor Ray!
Hoy, jueves 22 de Mayo a las 16 hs. en Buenos Aires.
Y con el, se nos fue uno de los mas grandes testimonios vivos de nuestro querido tango...
Se nos fue un gran bailarin. Y un gran milonguero.
Uno de los mas grandes milongueros con quien haya tenido ocasion de bailar en toda mi vida !
El baile fue para mi, antes y despues de el... Del gran Nestor Ray !
Se  nos fue una gran persona ademas.
La parca muerte se lo llevo - con su violencia de siempre- y nos dejo sin su baile... Y nos dejo sin el.
Se nos fue joven, como se van los bohemios, los solitarios, los que sufren en demasia.
Se fue uno de los mejores, de los mas grandes.
Nadie con tu compas, Nestor querido...Tus giros...Tus traspies !!!
Nadie capaz de marcar con todo el cuerpo y  con ninguna parte a la vez.
Todo tu cuerpo bailaba. De pies a cabeza...
Eras vos, Nestor querido,el baile mismo !
Tu baile era envolvente, sugestivo, armonico.
Vos eras el tango, la milonga y el vals para mi...
Encontrarte en la milonga era una fiesta. Bailar con vos era una fiesta. Verte bailar era una fiesta!!!..
Va a ser imposible sustituirte. Va a ser imposible olvidarte.
Vamos a esperar encontrarte en cada milonga. Siempre te vamos a estar buscando, gran bailarin...
Siempre te vamos a extraniar !
Siempre, a partir de ahora , nos vas a faltar. Como le faltan a uno los padres, cuando no los tiene.
Un sentido abrazo a Pato, y a todos quienes te conocimos y disfrutamos...
porque todos nosotros, sin excepcion ,estamos de  profundo duelo.
Gracias por tus ensenianzas.Gracias por todo lo que nos dejaste.
No te olvidaremos jamas !
Desde Roma, con una profunda congoja en el alma, vaya mi pequenio pero muy sentido homenaje al Gran Nestor Ray, campeon entre los campeones...


Please put me down for $50 to contribute to Nestor's funeral fund. I am leaving town for a couple of weeks but will get a check to you in the mail right away.

Phoenix, AZ

Total Amount: $50.00
Item Title: Nestor Ray's Funeral Fund
Item Number: via Planet Tango
Buyer: Linda Valentino


Dear Patricia, Lucy and all of Nestor's family, please accept this in loving memory of Nestor Ray, my teacher and friend, a great milonguero and ambassador of Tango. I will miss him very much. With Love, 

Linda Valentino, Los Angeles

Total Amount: $25.00
Item Title: Nestor Ray's Funeral Fund
Item Number: via Planet Tango
Buyer: Lisa Battan


Estoy mandandoles esta pequena contribucion en remembranza de unos de los mas grandes bailarines de tango.  Es con mucho afecto que recuerdo la sonrisa de Nestor brillante y sus ojos que a veces bailaban como sus pies. 

Lisa Battan
Abogada de inmigration de Nestor en los EEUU

P.S.  I might be a little embarrased of my bad Spanish, but that is how Nestor and I communicated - his broken English and my bad castellano, but it was a lot of warmth from both sides.

Dear Alberto and Valorie,

I was so sorry to hear of Nestor's death.  He was one of my favorite teachers at the great seminar you had in Reno in 2000.  Please put me down on the list for a $25 contribution to his family, and let me know the best way to direct it to you (or them).
Thanks for taking on this responsibility. 

Lots of love to you both,

Gaye Goodman
Albuquerque, NM

I'll be sending a check for $20 for Nestor. 

Chandler, AZ

Hello Alberto,

I'm so sad to hear that Nestor has passed away...
When I met him in your Tango labor day in Reno in 2000, I was so excited to see their dance Milonga!!  and also his personality.
I visited L.A for a event, I took his lesson which was Milonga.
At that time, he told us that had a terrible headache and he went out from the lesson...
He might have been soared so much....

Human has limited life... I know, but it's is uneasy things to say good bye and I have to accept the reality that I can't take his lesson any more....
I really appreciate you that make me have a chance to meet him.

I'll think of Nestor sometimes, and I'm sure that I'll tell people how Nestor was great dancer/teacher!!!!!

Gran abrazo y un besito,

Tokyo, Japan

I was a student of Nestor's many years ago, when I still lived in California.  I've just gotten news of his death, and I am very, very sad to hear of it.  I would like to contribute something to the fund you have to help with Nestor's funeral costs.  Please let me know how best to do so.

Thank you.
Jacqueline Steager

Thanks for doing this special deed, I will be sending you $50 for the fund.

Cleveland, OH

Dear Alberto and Valorie:

Great respect to you for initiating Nestor's Funeral Fund.
I would like to donate for $50 and will mail out the check tomorrow.

I am so touched the fact he made it at least his  home country before he died.  As one of foreigner myself living the foreign country, it is very hard  to accept the fact sometimes you may not be there in time when your loved one's death.

I am happy for Nestor for that fact at least he was in his homeland where his soul to be rest.

Junko Shimazaki
Phoenix, AZ

Total Amount: $200.00
Item Title: Nestor Ray's Funeral Fund
Item Number: via Planet Tango
Buyer: Tango Santa Barbara


A la familia Raiano, desde los tangueros de Santa Bárbara, California, EEUU.
Ya sentimos la perdida de nuestro amigo y maestro, Salvador "Nestor Ray" Raiano.
Nos conocimos en Stanford en 1996, y siempre disfrutamos las horas compartidas con Nestor, en una milonga u otra, charlando, comiendo, bailando...
Y ya se fue...pero nunca olvidamos.
Recordamos todo--las lágrimas y sonrisas que compartimos tantas veces--y sobre todo: el tango, que fue el regalo que nos dejó.
Escuchamos a la musica de un tango, cerramos los ojos, y recordamos...
Nestor nos está esperando...dentro de cada tango...como corresponde.
¡Chau Pibe! Nos vemos pronto...

Brian Griffin
Fay Villanueva
Tango Santa Barbara

Funeral Fund Donors

We wish to inform all interested parties that today May 23, 2003 we have wired $750 to Josefa Luisa Raiano (Nestor Ray's sister) in Buenos Aires to cover the costs of Nestor's funeral.

This has been done in the name of Planet Tango and all friends, colleagues and disciples of Nestor Ray in the United States.

Contributions to the Nestor's Funeral Fund as of 5/28/03 have successfully met the goal of covering
the total cost of the transfer ($750 + $64 fee from Western Union + 3% on PayPal fees)

Contributions as of 5/28/03
State of the fund
Ralph Kennedy Phoenix, AZ 50.00
Linda Valentino Los Angeles, CA 50.00
Lisa Battan Denver, CO 25.00
Brenda Cherry New Orleans, LA 10.00
Julio Canosa and Denise Chetta New Orleans, LA 40.00
Ed Cherrie New Orleans, LA 20.00
Dorothy Legg Chandler, AZ 20.00
Tim Pogros Cleveland, OH 50.00
Junko Shimazaki Phoenix, AZ 50.00
Brian Griffin, Fay Villanueva Santa Barbara, CA 200.00
Walter and MariLynne Kane Harriman, NY 50.00
Victor Crichton Tampa Bay, FL 50.00
Roberto Restucha Raleigh, NC. 100.00
Jose Recio Oakland, CA 50.00
Alberto and Valorie New Orleans, LA 135.00


We will be building this photo gallery as we collect more photos.
We are actively looking at our archives for photos of Nestor Ray.
Feel free to e-mail us any pictures in JPG or GIFF format you may want to share with the world at <photos@planet-tango.com>
Welcome to Stanford milonga, Emeryville, CA, July 1997 Ernie K Doe jazz funeral, 
New Orleans, July 2001
2000 Reno Getaway
with MariLyn
2000 Reno Getaway
with Steve
With Patricia, Guillermo, Fernanda, Alberto and Valorie 2000 Reno Getaway with Roberto 2000 Reno Getaway 
with Patricia, MariLyn and Walter
2000 Reno Getaway
with Walter
2000 Reno Getaway with Guillermo Merlo 2000 Reno Getaway with Guillermo Merlo 2000 Reno Getaway with Guillermo, Patricia and Fernanda 2000 Reno Getaway with Guillermo and Roberto
With Patricia, Guillermo, Fernanda, Alberto and Valorie The 2000 Reno Getaway alumni With Patricia, Guillermo, Fernanda, Alberto and Valorie With Patricia, Guillermo, Fernanda, Alberto and Valorie