Maurice El Médioni
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Maurice El Médioni is somebody who, if Rick's Café Américain had been real, might have followed Dooley Wilson (Sam) at the piano, playing music of the Maghreb...Arabic, and Jewish, raising incarnations from New Orleans and Cuba...
He was born in 1928, into a Jewish family in Oran, Algeria. He began to play at nine years of age on an old piano brought home from a flea market by his older brother, learning the popular French songs of the time on the radio. He was introduced to the existence of jazz by the American troops he entertained at the Red Cross bar in Oran, afterwards becoming pianist at Oran's l'Opera, where he played for Oriental Jewish performers.
At the end of the Algerian civil war Maurice, like most Algerian Jews, was force into exile, establishing himself as a cabaret player in Paris. Nowadays he lives in Marseilles, his music continuing to evoke the 1940's Oran of Arab and Jew, French officers and American GIs. He lived a dream fulfilled with the release of Descarga Oriental: The New York Sessions, on Piranha Musik, a partnership with Cuban musician Roberto Rodriguez, who arranged and produced the album.
Rodriguez said: "I was asked to bridge two worlds. As I listened, the Arabic and Sephardic connection became very clear, the strong presence of the African rhythms, as well as the beautiful and romantic melodies, just like in a Cuban song."
Yvonne Kahan - Olamale: +972-544817808
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