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

A radio program from l’Institut Européen des Musiques Juives 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 is the youngest in a religious family of eight children. His father, Chaoul Baruch Zaludkowski, cantor and composer, conducts the synagogue’s choir where the child begins to be a singer. In 1919, the family settles in Brussels. Jacques Chalude enters in the community’s school Charles Buls. A few years later, he starts his singing studies, in a musical academy of Brussels.

In 1936, he meets his future wife Josette Kon, who will sometimes accompany him on the piano. At the end of 1940, the family finds refuge in France. A few months laterQuelques mois plus tard, the Chalude couple settles in Lyon. Jacques meets Léon Algazi and will become great friends. From 1942 to 1944, with false identity papers, Jacques Chalude enters the Singer’s association of Lyon with whom he will make many tours.
At the liberation, he is hired as a soloist at the French Radiodiffusion. At the same time, he performs in the cabaret Habibi Club in Paris, where he sings a popular Jewish repertoire. Between 1949 and 1956, he records around 15 discs for the music labels Elesdisc, Saturne and Barclays.

At the beginning of the 1950’s, Jacques Chalude is hired as a cantor at the synagogue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth, a position he will keep until 1976. His musical repertoire, inspired by the one of his father and uncle, draws its roots in the Polish liturgy. In 1976, he gets in a disagreement with the Consistoire, and abandons his position of cantor. He dies 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.

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Jacques Chalude, dit Ben Baruch : l’artiste aux multiples facettes - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

Officer 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 for 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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  • Jacques Chalude, dit Ben Baruch : l’artiste aux multiples facettes - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

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