Soon afterwards he became the leader of a 16-piece orchestra, playing big band music at the Grand Casino in Havana, and also began writing his own compositions. One of his most famous songs, "No Te Importe Saber", was recorded with lyrics by Mitchell Parish as "Let Me Love You Tonight", by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and others. In 1944, after his club in Cuba was destroyed by a hurricane, Touzet moved to the USA where he joined a band led by Enrique Madriguera. The band then moved to Hollywood, where Touzet met Desi Arnaz, and joined his band for a while. He also worked as pianist, songwriter and arranger with Xavier Cugat and Stan Kenton. After forming his own orchestra in the mid-1950s, he successfully recorded ten albums for producer Gene Norman on his GNP Crescendo label between 1956 and 1966, and performed regularly at Norman’s club.
One of his best known arrangements of this period, "El Loco Cha Cha", provided R&B singer Richard Berry with the riff for his classic pop song "Louie Louie". Touzet remained a popular bandleader through the 1960s, incorporating pachangas and other new rhythms into his compositions, without losing touch with the boleros and cha chas that brought him his first fame. His published compositions for piano include among others: Cuarenta Danzas, Cuatro Capricios, Ginasteriana, Fantasía Española, Cinco Danzas Exóticas, Vals Arabesco, Tres Miniaturas, and the Sonata Romántica. His collection of Cuarenta Danzas is published by "Ediciones Universal" in Miami, and the rest of the compositions are published by "Ediciones Alegre", also in Miami. Throughout René Touzet's full and successful life, he has left no doubt as to his ability as a composer for the piano. His extensive list of high quality piano works offers the interested pianist a fresh and original addition to his/her repertoire.
Touzet was given several honors and awards for his musical contributions, and in 2001, the mayor of Miami, Alex Penelas, declared September the ninth as "René Touzet Day." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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