Jacques Chalude, also called Ben Baruch : the multiple face artist

A radio program from the European Institute of Jewish Music hosted by Hervé Roten


During almost 50 years, Jacques Chalude, aka Yitshak Zaludkowski, aka Ben Baruch, enchanted thousands of people, in various musical repertoires such as Yiddish songs, liturgical, in particular Polish one, and classical music. With his warm bass voice and his extraordinary tessitura Jacques Chalude went from one style to another without ever disavowing himself.

Born on September 20, 1914 in Staeiszyn, in the region of Kalisz (Poland), Jacques Zaludkowski was the youngest in a religious family of eight children. His father, Chaoul Baruch Zaludkowski, cantor and composer, conducted the synagogue’s choir where the child began to be a singer. In 1919, the family settled in Brussels. Jacques Chalude entered in the community’s school Charles Buls. A few years later, he started his singing studies, in a musical academy of Brussels.

In 1936, he met his future wife Josette Kon, who would sometimes accompany him on the piano. At the end of 1940, the family found refuge in France. A few months later, the Chalude couple settled in Lyon. Jacques met Léon Algazi and they became good friends. From 1942 to 1944, with false identity papers, Jacques Chalude entered the Singer’s association of Lyon with whom he made many tours.
At the liberation, he got hired as a soloist at the French Radiodiffusion. At the same time, he performed in the cabaret Habibi Club in Paris, where he sang a popular Jewish repertoire. Between 1949 and 1956, he recorded around 15 discs for the music labels Elesdisc, Saturne and Barclays.

At the beginning of the 1950’s, Jacques Chalude got hired as a cantor at the synagogue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth, a position that he kept until 1976. His musical repertoire, inspired by the one of his father and uncle, draws its roots in the Polish liturgy. In 1976, he got in a disagreement with the Consistoire, and abandoned his position as a cantor. He died in Paris in 1997.

His son Joël Chalude, the famous hearing-impaired comedian and mime, will talk of his father to whom he has great admiration.

The broadcast will be, as usual, illustrated with many audio examples, which testifies of the richness of the vocal range of Ben Baruch, the multiple face artist.

Read the biography of Ben Baruch
Browse the archives around Ben Baruch/Jacques Chalude
Buy the CD boxset Jewish Music in Paris the Aftermath of WWII – Elesdisc 1948-1953.
herve_photo_retouche_fond_uni_bleu_500px.jpgOfficer of the Ordre of Arts and letters, PhD in musicology at Paris University Sorbonne, prize-winning graduate from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Hervé Roten is the director of the European Institute of Jewish Music since its creation in 2006.
Ethnomusicologist, he quickly developed an interest in the safeguard and digitization of archives, subjects he taught for several years in Reims and Marne-La-Vallée universities.
Author of many articles, books and recordings related to Jewish music, producer of radio programs, Hervé Roten is recognized today as one of the best specialists of Jewish music in the world.

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