Eugenio Toussaint Uhthoff was born in México City on October 9, 1954. A self-taught musician, he started his performing career in 1972 as a pianist with the jazz band Odradek.
In 1974 he studied privately with Jorge Perez Herrera (contemporary harmony) and Nestor Castaneda (piano technique).
In 1975 he was part of the jazz band Blue Note, founded by Méxican bassist Roberto Aymes with whom he traveled all over México and recorded his first compositions in an album with the same name (Blue Note).
At the end of 1976 he founded Sacbé, one of the most important and influential bands in the history of Méxican jazz. Within the next two years the first Sacbé albums, Sacbé and Selva Tucanera were recorded and distributed independently in México and the United States.
Along with brothers Enrique and Fernando Toussaint, Eugenio moved to the United States and formed a new version of Sacbé in Minneapolis.
In 1980, owing to a scholarship from the Méxican government, he moved to Los Angeles, California, to study at the Dick Grove Music School, where he met reedman Jan Crosse, with whom a new version of Sacbé was formed. This group was signed by the local Discovery/Trend label, and the next three records, namely Street Corner, Aztlan and Dos Mundos were made and distributed internationally. These albums received an excellent response from radio stations, where they were placed first in their airplay lists.
During the same year, Toussaint also studied orchestration with Dr. Albert Harris.
From 1982 until 1983 he worked with trumpet player Herb Alpert and singer Paul Anka, with whom he was musical director until 1986.
In 1986 Toussaint returned to México, where his major activity to date was composing concert music.
ln 1989 the México City Musician's Union conferred upon him their major award, the Golden Lire, for musical accomplishment.
From 1990 to 1991 he studied piano technique with Leopoldo Gonzalez. He also wrote seventeen symphonic arrangements of Méxican popular music for a series of records called México de mis Amores.
In 1990 the piece Hijo de la Ciudad (Son of the City) for jazz orchestra and piano, commissioned by New York's Latin Festival in México City was premiered .
The symphonic pieces Popol-Vuh and Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra were premiered In 1991. Popol-Vuh was also performed by the National Symphony Orchestra of Belgium in 1993, during the Europalia festivities dedicated to México and its culture.
1992 saw the premiere of Dances of the City (commissioned by the Eight Annual México City Music Festival) and Gauguin (concerto for Harp and English Horn).
In 1993 Science Suite (commissioned by México's National University for the opening of the "Universum" Science Museum) was premiered . This work was also performed in México during the same year, by the National Symphony Orchestra, National University Philharmonic Orchestra, Aguascalientes Orchestra and the Carlos Chavez Youth Orchestra . The Cello Concerto was also performed by the National University Philharmonic Orchestra.
The album Paisajes, an electro-acoustical project, involving ethnic and pre-Hispanic percussion, along with ethno-musicologist percussionist Antonio Zepeda was released.
1994 saw the premieres of Variaciones Concertantes (concertino for guitar and cello) commissioned by the group Atril 5, Cinco miniaturas de Paul Klee commissioned by trio Neos-Avante, Pieza para violoncello solo (Ignacio Mariscal), Estudio-Bop for sopranino recorder (Horacio Franco), Divertimento for solo marimba (Ricardo Gallardo) and Rumbo de Rumba (México City trombone quartet).
Toussaint also received the annual commission from the International Festival Cervantino and premiered the work Concierto for Guitar and Orchestra in October.
During the same year, the album Sabor Latino by La Camerata was released, which included his composition Dances of the City, as well as a duet album with ethnic percussionist Antonio Zepeda was released, titled Paisajes.
ln November 1994 he was awarded a three year grant (Sistema Nacional de Creadores) from the Méxican government for music composition. br>
As a composer in the advertising field, he has worked for the following clients: Ford Motor Company, Chrysler de México, General Motors de méxico, Nissan Méxicana, Volkswagen de México, Bacardi y Compania, Seagrams de México, Colgate Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, Banca Serfin, Banco Ulnion, Banorte, Asemex-Banpais, Pond's de México, Kellogg's de México, Garci Crespo, Tabacalera Méxicana, Minsa, Maseca, Aeromexico, Secretaria de Turismo, Vidal Sassoon, Comision Federal de Electricidad, Fruit of the Loom and others.
AAs a producer, in 1995, he produced the first album for the México City Wind Quintet, which featured contemporary Méxican music.
With Sacbé, he completed the album The Painters, dedicated to major 20th century painters (Picasso, Gauguin, Tamayo etc.). This album included guest appearances by reedman Paul McCandless, well known for his work with bands such as Oregon, Pat Metheny's Group, Jaco Pastorius Big Band and others.
Toussaint also composed String Quartet #2, which was commissioned by Cuarteto Latinoamericano for performance at the International Chamber Music Festival in San Miguel de Allende, while Calaveras was commissioned by the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria, for their annual season.
In December 1995, Symphony #1 was performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as Suite Niu Yol for flute and guitar was commissioned by México Fine Arts Department.
In 1996 Toussaint wrote Bouillabaisse, piece for piano and chamber orchestra, dedicated to Miles Davis for the fifth anniversary of his passing, as well as a piece for tenor voice and wind quintet entitled Vino de Hongos.
Toussaint was premiered at the Lincoln Center in New York, by Tambuco (México City Percussion Quartet) with a piece called Jungle Chungle for four marimbas and percussion.
In 1997, he wrote Post Tenebras Lux, a choral work based on Gregorian chants, for percussion quartet, harp, and soloist playing oboe, soprano saxophone and bass clarinet (Paul McCandless), which was performed at the closing of the México City Music Festival in the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Toussaint received a commission from the National University Orchestra to write the Concertino for woodwind quintet, string orchestra and percussion, performed by OFUNAM and conducted by Horst Neumann in January.
The Oktkt woodwind octet was commissioned by Sinfonieta Ventus and performed in a 1997-1998 US tour. He was also commissioned to write a second cello concerto for the Méxican cellist Carlos Prieto.
Toussaint premiered a new choir piece for Musica Viva of New York City in April.
The same year, 1997 saw premieres of Concertino (OFUNAM México City), Post Tenebras Lux (México City Metropolitan Cathedral), Pa Su Meche (México City), Days of the Dead (Phoenix Arizona), OKTKT (New York City), Amefrica (México City). Along with Sacbé, he performs at the Cancun and Houston International Jazz Festivals.
In 1998, Toussaint wrote Knomonk for solo piano as first of a series of piano pieces. He was awarded a grant by the government for the second time, to belong for three years to the National System for Creators. He commenced series of courses on jazz improvisation around the country in cities like Jalapa, Mérida, Guadalajara.
In 1999, Toussaint wote the Concerto for Cello and Orchestra #2, Estudio Bop #3, Tango and Cancion de Luna.
His CD Tres Suites containing Danzas de la Ciudad, Suite de las Ciencias and Suite from the ballet Days of the Dead was released by Urtext Digital Classics.
A symphonic arrangement on four mambos by Pérez Prado was performed for an audience of 60,000 people at México City Zécalo (Main central Plaza) for the celebration of the new millennium on New Year's Eve 1999-2000. The Galactic Suite (symphonic version of Science Suite) was performed for a worldwide audience on TV, also for the celebration of the new millennium at Chichen Itza pyramids in Yucatan México.
He was invited by composer Ricardo Zohn, head of composition department at University of Cincinatti for a lecture on his classical music and a performance of his piece Danzas de la Ciudad, at the same time a lecture on his jazz compositions and a performance of his big band piece Hijo de la Ciudad took place at Cincinnatti University conducted by him.
In the year 2000, Toussaint was awarded a 7-week artistic residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. At Banff, he attended a workshop on Effortless Mastery imparted by pianist-composer Kenny Werner.
He wrote Flambo Mambenco, Pour les Enfants, Kaleidoscopio and Trio.
He also compiled a book with fifty original jazz compositions (most of them from recordings by Sacbé).
In October, the Berklee College of Music invited him for a week of concerts and lectures on his jazz and classical music. He gave a lecture at the Boston Conservatory, performed with Sacbé, and the piece Son of the City was performed by Berklee' s Jazz Orchestra.
In November a suite of the ballet, Days of the Dead, was performed in Philadelphia by the Curtis Ensemble conducted by Juan Carlos Lomonaco.
His second C.D. Gauguin including Concerto for guitar and orchestra, Gauguin for harp, English horn and string orchestra and Boulillabaisse (for piano and orchestra) was released by Urtext Digital Classics.
His symphonic piece Calaveras was performed by Orquesta Filarmonica de Colombia in Bogota Colombia,conducted by Jesus Medina.
In 2001, Toussaint wrote Mambo and Estudio Bop #4.
His orchestral C.D. Gauguin received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Classical recording.
The Concerto for Cello and Orchestra was recorded by Carlos Prieto and Orquesta de las Americas, conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto.
His symphonic piece em>Popol-Vuh is recorded by Orquesta Sinfonica Carlos Chavez, conducted by Juan Carlos Lomonaco.
HHis piece Variaciones Concertantes was performed in Medellin, Colombia by the university's contemporary music ensemble. His piece Suite Niu Yol was included on CD by Dueto Lipcau-Medrano.
In 2004, his CD Musica de Camara was nominated for a Latin Grammy as the best classical album.
In 2006, he wrote several works, including Tres Cuentos Infantiles for Quinteto de Alientos, Estudio Bop #7 for solo cello, commissioned and dedicated to Carlos Prieto, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra commissioned and dedicated to Marisa Canales, Palabras Sin Sonido for solo piano commissioned and dedicated to Ana Cervantes, Estudio Bop #8 for solo clarinet, and the Concerto for Improvised Piano and Orchestra (dedicated to Jesus Medina) which was performed by the Charlemagne Orchestra at the National Conservatory in Brussels, Belgium.
He also undertook various projects as a producer and arranger, namely: Un Mundo de Arrullos for Guadalupe Pineda (producer/arranger), big band arrangements for Iraida Noriega's latest CD, two string arrangements for the Mijares/Yuri duo album, a string arrangement for a Sin Bandera album and an upcoming album by Ana Torroja, seven string arrangements for Billy McLaughlin's comeback concerts in Minnesota, which were filmed for a special TV broadcast and DVD.
Besides his orchestral and arranging commitments, Eugenio continued to perform with his jazz TRIO in México and abroad. He also received an honorary medal for achievement in music from the conservatory at Universidad Autonoma de Tamaulipas and the Juan Jose Calatayud Medal for merits in his jazz career in Veracruz, México. The 2006 Campeche's Jazz Festival honored Eugenio Toussaint.