Cheikh Raymond Leyris had a French name, was Jewish and sang in Arab. Born in Constantine in 1912, natural child of a Christian woman and a Jewish man, he was the undisputed master of Arab-Andalusian music, called “Malouf” in Constantine. In this classical musical genre, transmitted for the most of it, orally through centuries since the glorious times of Arab Andalusia, he reached peaks of wisdom, invention and powerful creation.
On June 22nd 1961, Cheikh Raymond is killed by gunshot in a Constantine’s market. His assassination caused the exile of the Jewish community, who lived there for 2000 years. Settled in France, his pupil Gaston Ghrenassia, guitar player of his orchestra, will become a famous singer called Enrico Macias.
This radio program is a trip into the lost world of Algerian Judaism.
The journalist and specialist of popular music, Bertrand Dicale, author of a book about Cheikh Raymond, travels along with us through this journey in which we will hear several excerpts from an anthology of recordings by Cheikh Raymond, released in 2011 by Universal Classics and Jazz France.
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