Luis Teisseire

Real name: Teisseire, Luis
Nicknames: León Rojo
Flutista, composer, lyricist and leader
(24 October 1883 - 3 May 1960)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Juan Silbido

e was born in the city of Buenos Aires, son of Jean Teisseire, native from France, and Maria Puzzi, born in Genoa (Italy).

According to what Mrs.Elvira Gianelli de Teisseire told us his parents were rather poor. That made that, among other trades, their son Luis had to work as a wall painter.

After his grade school he attended high school up to the second year of the Colegio Nacional that he unfortunately had to interrupt.

We read “La historia del tango” whose authors say the following: «He was even cobbler and railroad worker for the F.C.S. (Ferrocarril Sur). At age 15 he found a job at Vitale’s flower shop. He spent his idle time by reading books with avant-garde ideas. He became an anarchist, he organized a strike at the florist’s and was dismissed. He learned to play flute, he was self-taught at the beginning and later he studied with professor Mauricio Guariglia.»

Based on what we read above, Teisseire in his youth had a fighting temper. Music appeased such a turbulent adolescence.

Maybe politics lost an ardent representative which was taken for the ranks of popular music and poetry.

The above mentioned work by Héctor and Luis J. Bates added about it: «He joined the Hansen’s staff as flutist, later he switched to El Quiosquito. He also joined the outfits that played at the dancehalls of Rosendo, Bevilacqua and Posadas, besides playing at the cheap cafés of La Boca, on Suárez Street, etc.».

Luís Teisseire married on November 21, 1907 with Miss Elvira Ema Luisa Gianelli, who was then 22.

On those days long time ago Luis used to have an habitual gesture. The latter, we shall later say it, used to play at venues in the Palermo woods. When he came back from them he expressed his affection towards his young wife by bringing her a beautiful magnolia flower. Their home spent jubilant hours with the birth of two male children; both are presently dead.

Teisseire voiced his poetic tendencies a little book titled “Mis humildes versos” comprising twenty pages on which he compiled part of his output. We highlight of it the lines dedicated to his son, first lieutenant Germán Rogelio Teisseire; the paternal affection flows in touching stanzas, perhaps written with his eyes full of tears...

Furthermore we mention from the above work a composition of deep and evocative Buenos Aires contents, dedicated to his great friend José Fernández Perrusini and titled “Tango”. And excerpt of it we transcribe below:

Palermo, Cinco Esquinas, La Ensenada,
La Boca, Tierra del Fuego, Mataderos,
La Batería, Barracas, La Tablada...
barrios bravos, de «machazos» entreveros.

Después... Hansen, el Kiosquito y el Tambito
donde «volaban» los vasos y las sillas
y los «guapos» de «lengue» y chamberguito
«se trenzaban», con los guapos «cajetillas»...

Pasó el tiempo... y tomando rumbo al «centro»,
con su fe de bautismo arrabalera
salió el tango, de sus lauros al encuentro
tremolando su emoción, como bandera.

«Compadreando» en un «teclao» de bandoneones
hizo a un lado recelos y desaires
los magnates le abrieron sus mansiones...
y fue el Tango! el «bacán» de Buenos Aires...

With an indeclinable enthusiasm Teisseire continued his poetic work, notwithstanding his musical activities.

Among his compositions we find unforgettable titles which total over 80 pieces. Furthermore he is author of many lyrics, in collaboration with other colleagues. We highlight, among them, Juan de Dios Filiberto, a great friend, like Augusto Pedro Berto.

Teisseire died of a heart attack in his domicile located on 344 Esperanza Street of our Capital city.

Below we shall mention a part of his output, including between brackets the date when it was published:

Tangos: according to the authors Héctor and Luis J. Bates the first one was called “La Nación” (1900), “Muy de la plataforma” (1908), “Cosa linda barata” (previously named “ar exposición”) (1909), “El canchero” (1914), “Marta” (1914), “El rubito” (1915), “Carnerito” (1916), “Entrada prohibida” (1918), “Cinco a dos” (1918), “La capillita” (1919), “El vasco de Olavarría” (1920), “Entrada libre” (1920), “Del pasado” (1921), “Lomanquén” (1921), “El último mate” with music by Filiberto (1922), “Truco” (1922), “De mil amores” (1922), “Celeste y blanco” (1922), “El ramito” (1923), “Mano mora” (1924), “Por ella” (1925), the best according to the composer himself, widely spread by the Argentine actress Lita Duc, member of the French cast of a revue that appeared at the Ópera theater.

He continued with: “A contra mano” (1928). And the tangos milonga: “La picasa” (1917), “Figurita” (1919) and “El serrucho”. “Tangos with lyrics”: “Calandria” (1926), “Farolito viejo” (1927) and “Cuando mi barrio se duerme” (1928). Humorous tangos: “Primer auxilio” (1929) and “Miau” (1929).

Waltzes: “Ateísmo” (1915), “Clarita” (1915), “Ausencia” (1916), “Jamás” (1917), “Croyance brisse” (1919), “El antifaz negro” (1919), “Una fiesta en mi ranchito” (1922) and “Corazón” (1928).

He also composed a mazurka: “¿Te acuerdas?” (1908) and a military march: “General Villegas” (1910). Estilos criollos: “Mi guitarra” (1913), “Sin el calor de tu alma” (1922), “El fogón” (1925) and “Mi guitarra” (1927). He as well composed a ranchera: “En mi rancho hay una flor” (1929), a pasodoble: “Flor de España” (1925) and a lullaby: “Germinase” (1921), awarded with the first prize at the contest organized by the company with the same name, which meant ten gold Argentinos (currency).