An exuberant celebration of Latin rhythms and a delicious salsa of harmonies, conjuring smoky milongas in flamboyant Buenos Aires.

Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre is known for hosting pitch-perfect recitals of early choral works and Baroque string quartets, but this Saturday it will be transformed with an anarchic Argentinian atmosphere.

Two British groups with a shared love of Latin flare have promised punters a night to remember where fiery Tangos meet staccato Glorias with a sprinkling of sultry strings.

Santiago Quartet, a stunning group of strings specialising in Argentinian and Latin American music, will be joined by renowned Bandoneonist Julian Rowlands, pianist David Coram, soprano soloist Katie Fry and the Salisbury Community Choir.

All will be artfully brought together by conductor Jeremy Backhouse.

The bill includes Palmeri’s striking Misa a Buenos Aires Misa Tango, Piazolla’s Las Cuatro Estaciones Portenas (Four Seasons), with extracts from Morricone’s The Mission and a light-hearted Guantanamera and more.

The whole evening is being held in aid of Oxfordshire Mind, an idea proposed by Santiago cellist Jonny Hennessey-Brown, who has lived with bipolar for 23 years.

Santiago Quartet represents the continuation of a mission that began in Merida, Mexico, in 2005.

The group took the name Santiago Quartet when two of its founding members moved to England with the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra.

While working in Mexico, the musicians discovered a repertoire that was rarely or never performed in the UK.

They collaborated with the renowned Yucatecan guitarist Cecilia Perera, and their interest in exploring this music led to performances with the Grammy Award winning Cuarteto Latinoamericáno, and at the 2008 International Chamber Music Festival in Mexico City’s Bellas Artes Theatre.

Santiago Quartet’s first album, Latin Perspective, with Cuban guitarist Ahmed Dickinson, received outstanding reviews along with performances at Ronnie Scott’s, various festivals and live on Radio 3.

Their mission is to bring vibrant performances to audiences and play an active role in the education of young musicians.

The quartet continues to develop and perform its own blend of contemporary Latin American and British repertoire to packed-out halls.

Jonny, who was one of the two founding members, has always said his illness has had a formative effect on the quartet and its sound.

After watching a documentary by comedian Stephen Fry looking at people who struggle with mental illnesses, Jonny found the courage to talk publicly about his own experience of living with bipolar.

His motivation in doing so, he said, was not to gain sympathy, but to help other sufferers know that they are not alone, and to continue opening up the conversation about mental illness.

Since starting work towards their second album, the quartet have raised more than £2,500 for mental health charities.

The band now donates 10 per cent of all CD sales at UK concerts to Mind.

Saturday’s concert will include a collection in aid of the local branch of Mind, and Dan Knowles, CEO of Oxfordshire Mind, will talk briefly about mental health and the charity’s work.

Performing alongside Santiago will be Salisbury Community Choir.

Formed in 1992, the group boasts more than 150 members and sing, they say, “for the sheer love of it”.

The choir are non-auditioned, and although some members read music, many do not.

Helen Atkinson says: “The mixture works well and with patient encouragement from Jeremy, our fantastic musical director, and our supportive and talented accompanist David, we achieve great performance successes, while having a lot of fun along the way.”

She adds: “The choir have a big heart and we have a real community focus, supporting each other and fundraising for a diverse range of charities, from hospices, and air ambulances to the homelessness.”

The choir also tours abroad at least every three years, mainly to Europe, but have previously adventured further afield including a memorable tour to South Africa in 2009 which has had a lasting impact on both the choir and the South African choirs and communities they met, and with whom they maintain close links.

Julian Rowlands, meanwhile, is probably the UK’s most celebrated bandoneonist.

For anyone who does not know, the bandoneon is a type of concertina which is particularly popular in South America.

Also a composer and arranger and based in London, Julian regularly appears on national television and radio and at major concert and theatre venues as a soloist and with ensembles.

He has appeared on Strictly Come Dancing accompanying Vincent and Flavia and as part of the Strictly band.

Jeremy Backhouse is one of the UK’s leading choral conductors, passionate about supporting new composers and creating interesting and original concert programmes.

Jeremy has been the sole conductor of the internationally-renowned chamber choir, Vasari Singers since its inception in 1980.

Since winning the prestigious Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year competition in 1988, Vasari Singers have performed regularly on the South Bank and at major concert venues in London, as well as in the many of the cathedrals and abbeys of the UK.

Jeremy and the Vasari Singers broadcast frequently on Classic FM, BBC Radios 3 and 4, and have a discography of over 25 CDs on the EMI, Guild, Signum and Naxos labels.

Recordings with the Vasari Singers have been nominated for a Gramophone award, received two Gramophone Editor’s Choice awards, a top recommendation on Radio 3’s Building A Library, and two recent CDs both achieved Top Ten status in the specialist classical chart.

Jeremy also conducts the Vivace Chorus, based in Guildford and has also worked with a number of the country’s leading choirs, including the BBC Singers, the Philharmonia Chorus, the London Chorus and the Brighton Festival Chorus.

A fiery night expected from an extremely talented bunch of musicians. It’s hard to imagine how anyone will be able to sit still.

* Saturday’s concert starts at 7.30pm.

Tickets £10-£35 from the Sheldonian box office on 01865 305305 or from