Muslim and Jewish musical reunion is highlight of annual Berlin Jazz Festival

23rd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 October 2007, Berlin (dpa) - A reunion of Jewish and Muslim musicians from Algiers, Marseilles and Paris is one of the highlights of this year's Berlin Jazz Festival that gets underway October 31.

23 October 2007

Berlin (dpa) - A reunion of Jewish and Muslim musicians from Algiers, Marseilles and Paris is one of the highlights of this year's Berlin Jazz Festival that gets underway October 31.

Audiences will have a rare opportunity to hear chaabi - the music that used to reverberate from the narrow Casbah walls of Algiers during the 1940s and 50s.

It will be played by El Gusto - a 40-piece orchestra whose members got back together after more than four decades apart and have recently started touring.

They will be performing on the opening night of the JazzFest, which features concerts at venues throughout the capital until November 4.

El Gusto is the brainchild of Safinez Bousbia, a Dublin-based Algerian who organised the reunion after seeing photographs of the musicians while on a trip to Algiers.

A CD of their music produced by former Blur singer Damon Albarn has recently been released.

Most of those who agreed to play in the orchestra are between 70 and 90, reminiscent of the veterans in the Buena Vista Social Club revived by singer Ry Cooder in Cuba a few years back.

Chaabi music was played by Muslims and Jews alike. But the war of independence (1954-62) changed all that. After the French colony became independent, many Jews no longer saw a future in the country and emigrated, mostly to Marseilles.

Other voluntary exiles will also be filling the bill at the JazzFest, among them American clarinettist Michael Moore, who is based in the Netherlands, and Finnish guitarist Kalle Kalima, who works in Germany.

With Howard Levy, JazzFest will present a noted virtuoso on the diatonic harmonica.

There will also be a Saturday night jam session led by Trio Madeira Brasil and featuring virtuoso guitarist Yamandu Costa.

DPA

Subject: German news

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