Nélida Rouchetto

e is one of the most loved and respected tango musicians. He knew how to develop his career not in a hurry and without a break, displaying an intimate phrasing from his instrument. With a harmonious voice in his chords and, even though restful when opening and closing the bellows, he plays it with assurance and a wide sound and always singing. As arranger he conveyed, on each occasion, a balance of timbre among the instruments and, as conductor, he was precise in his indications, whose results of good resolution are kept in historical recordings.

His parents encouraged his particular facility towards music. Because of that, at age 7, besides going to grammar school, Tomás Martucci taught him how to read and write music and as well to play bandoneon. He was a ten-year-old kid, when in 1940 he joined a juvenile orchestra, which also included Julián Plaza and Ernesto Franco. Furthermore, he formed a bandoneon duo: Oscar Bassil-Luis Stazo within the Comparsa Los Chafalotes. They appeared at the cinema theaters of the neighborhood in the carnival of 1941. That duo was the main attraction.

His professional debut was at age 18 in the orchestra led by the bandoneonist Jorge Argentino Fernández. He went on with his work in the groups led by Juan Carlos Cobián, Lucio Demare, Argentino Galván (as soloist in 1949), Toto Rodríguez, Osmar Maderna, Armando Lacava, Francisco Rotundo, Alfredo De Angelis (1959/65), Armando Cupo and Ernesto Baffa.

His first arrangements were for the Armando Lacava-Ángel Vargas Orchestra, later he wrote charts for Alfredo De Angelis, Francisco Rotundo, Cupo-Morán, Leo Lípesker. He conducted his aggregations while playing his bandoneon and wrote his arrangements and charts to back vocalists of the level of: Ángel Vargas, Carmen Duval. Alberto Marino, Argentino Ledesma, Rodolfo Lesica, Alberto Podestá, Enrique Dumas, Gloria Vélez, Lalo Martel, Beatriz Suárez Paz, Roberto Echagüe, Rosanna Falasca, Graciela Susana, Claudio Bergé, Blanca Mooney, Tito Reyes and Guillermo Fernández, among others.

He put together a trio with Armando Cupo and Mario Monteleone, with his own arrangements, to play the background for the voice of Roberto Goyeneche as soloist in 1961 and 1962. They cut a record produced and financed by the artists together with the author of the lyrics, Federico Silva.

He was founding member, bandoneonist, co-arranger and co-leader with Orlando Trípodi of Los Siete del Tango (1965-1969). He also collaborated in the foundation of La Casa del Tango on September 18, 1967. He permanently collaborates with this house either as musician or as member of the board. In 1970 he organized and conducted the big orchestra that performed at the Luna Park celebrating the third anniversary of the institution.

In 1975 he conducted and arranged all the numbers of the album produced by Ben Molar: Los 14 de De Caro. It featured 14 guest soloists.

Always with an innovating spirit, he also was co-founder of the Sexteto Mayor, teaming up with José Libertella. They made their debut on April 29, 1973 at La Casa de Carlos Gardel with Armando Cupo, Reynaldo Nichele, Fernando Suárez Paz and Juan Carlos Vallejos.

With some changes of personnel, the Sexteto has been appearing since then at the most important Buenos Aires venues: Caño 14, El viejo Almacén, Café de los Angelitos, Viejo Café Nacional, Michelángelo. They also toured the provinces, and were seen on television channels. They recorded many discs in our country and as well abroad. In 1994 they cut a CD in Germany and sold 25.000 copies.

With the Sexteto Mayor as soloist group and, with players especially summoned, Stazo and Libertella wrote the charts and put together the big orchestra that succeeded with the show Tango Argentino —devised by the choreographers Segovia and Orezoli—, either in France, as in Germany, Italy, north of Europe, the United States, Canada, England, Japan and other Asian countries (1983-1992).

Previously the Sextet, that had traveled all over America, appeared in Germany in 1981 and 1982, awakening the tango passion of the Europeans. On November 19, 1981 they played at the Trottoirs de Buenos Aires, founded in Paris by Antonio Cantón, Tomás Barna and Susana Rinaldi, among others. Since 1993, they yearly appear in Buenos Aires and abroad, besides introducing the shows Tango Pasión and Tangomanía.

Only in 1984 he cut his first record as leader with an exclusively instrumental approach, searching for new timbres and colors, plus a voice choir.

In his facet as composer Luis Stazo stood out with several achievements: “Orgullo tanguero”, “Cuál de los dos”, with lyric by Enrique Cadícamo; “Por derecha”, with Víctor Lamanna; “Al aire libre”, with Héctor Negro; “Dios fue de vos”, with Julián Centeya; “Bajo mi piel”, with Rosanna Falasca; “Amor de verano”, “Ayer escribí en el viento”, “No nos veremos más”, “Ya vuelvo”, with Federico Silva. As composer of instrumentals he was co-author of “Argentino Galván”, “Entre dos”, “Afectuosamente”, together with Orlando Trípodi; “A la orden”, “Bien moderna”, “Del 73”, with Armando Cupo; “A don Julio De Caro”, with Ernesto Baffa; “Un tono de azul”, with Julio De Caro; “Preludio a Francini”, “De moño”, with Mario Abramovich; “Cuando habla el bandoneón”, “Mi bandoneón y yo”, with Jorge Caldara.

On December 8, 2004, his friend and partner José Libertella died and, since then he had started to walk a new road. He went with his wife to live in Germany.

Since January 2005 he is based in Berlin and founded a new trio: the StazoMayor, along with Coco Nelegatti —an experienced guitarist— and Kaspar Domke, a young but very talented German double bassist.