Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Cheikh Zouzou

In anticipation of a future post on the film El Gusto, which is out now in France, this video of the Jewish Algerian master of Andalusian music, Cheikh Zouzou (given name Joseph Benganoun), born in Oran (Wahran), Algeria.

Apparently the group accompanying Zouzou is the "Orchestre de la Station d'Oran." On piano is Maurice El Medioni (also Jewish Algerian) and on guitar (in the long-sleeve shirt that looks grey in this B&W video), Blaoui Houari. Houari is mostly obscured and you can barely see the guitar, but he is there. And mostly we see Medioni's back. This would have been broadcast in the late fifties or early sixties, that is, prior to Algerian independence. The French authorities established television in Algeria in 1957, and they broadcast Arab music in part, in an attempt to co-opt the musicians. As a result, a lot of amazing music was produced on colonial Algerian t.v., much of which can be found on youtube.

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