Maurice El Médioni: A Memoir From Oran To Marseilles (1938-1992) edited by Max Reindhardt & translated by Jonathan Walton
Published by Repeater, 2017 (232 pages; paperback)
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Maurice El Médioni (born on 18 October 1928 in Oran, Algeria) is an Algerian Jewish pianist, composer and interpreter of Andalusian, Rai, Chaabi, Sephardic and Arab music. He is one of the few living artists to have performed with the great Chaabi artists Lili Labassi, Line Monty, Samy el Maghribi, and Reinette l’Oranaise along with modern Rai greats like Khaled.
This book contains his original handwritten memoirs, translated by Jonathan Walton. He tells firsthand the story of his early life in the derb (Oran’s Jewish quarter); his first piano; Rommel’s Nazi forces and his experiences during WW2 with the Dominican and Puerto Rican GIs; how he developed his unique “pianorientale” style; the subsequent golden years of nightlife in Oran, the “Paris of the South”; the horrific years of bloodshed that followed in the Algerian War Of Independence; his exile from Algeria; and his later life in France.