Allen Toussaint

Oral History Information

Interview Date
Birth Date
Deceased Date
Job Title
Musician, Songwriter, Record Producer

Allen Toussaint represented one of the quintessential New Orleans sounds. Toussaint’s compositions and songs seamlessly blend blues, jazz, ragtime, R&B, and funk to create an amalgam that is unique and readily identifiable to New Orleans. Starting on piano in the 1940s and initially influenced by Professor Longhair, Toussaint went on to develop a unique style all his own. The 1950s had Toussaint fronting and recording under his own name including the album The Wild Side of New Orleans featuring the tune “Java”. This continued into the 1960s and 70s, while in the 1980s Toussaint became musical director for the off Broadway play Staggerlee. Aside from his solo work, Toussaint has also played an active role in collaboration projects with other artists including Elvis Costello and Eric Clapton.  He passed away while on tour in Spain at the age of 77 on November 9, 2015.  His music and his legacy will continue!