Maurice el Medioni

Maurice el Medioni
Maurice el Medioni
trio MEdioni
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Line up

  • Hagai Bilitszki (Double BAss)
  • Hillel Amsallem  (Percussion )
  • Maurice el Medioni (Piano - Vocal )


Maurice el Medioni (1928) Legendary Rai pioneer and piano grandmaster ,creator of the PianOriental from Algerie- France. Created his own blend of Boogie- woogie, Rumba- Rai, Jewish Andalusia music. A childhood hero of Khaled, he's featured guest on his 2004 release "Yah- Rayi". _ Maurice el Medioni's musical career stretches across his entire lifetime. El Medioni teenage years found him playing boogie woogie in the local US army base and then in Oran, developing Rai music with Blaoui Houari. Through the 1950’s, he was performing with the greatest of Chaabi musicians such as Line Monty, Blond Blond and Lily Boniche. And then of course, over the last 2 decades, he has performed and recorded with some of the stars of World Music: Khaled, the Klezmatics, Oi Va Voi, Watcha Clan, Yasmin Levy…. the list goes on. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
He recently starred in the prestigious cinema documentary film “El Gusto” and toured internationally with the Algerian All Star Orchestre El Gusto. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Maurice was born in 1928, Oran Algeria. He became a unique and remarkable pianist and performer/ composer, the Grand master of PianOriental:
"a lynchpin and pioneer of the cabaret style of 1950s Oran, which mixed US boogie, Latin syncopations, Arabic andalous inflexions and the lush emotions of French chanson" to quote renowned music journalist Andy Morgan. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In 2007, he was awarded with the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award (Category: Culture Crossing) , after the release of his Descarga Oriental album with Cuban percussionist Roberto Rodriguez, on the Piranha label. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Cafe Oran" is Medioni's first Piranha release, one of Rough Guide's Essential CDs of World Music. For his second album "Descarga Oriental " Maurice met Cuban drummer Roberto Rodriguez in New York and they performed several tours together worldwide. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Medioni has also a release by Magda label,titled "Samai Andalou" with Jewish musicians Yair Dalal and Eyal Sela and oftens perform with the Israeli Andalouse Orchestra of Ashdod. Maurice el Medioni received the prestigious BBC radio 3 Awards World Music (JPEG insert )CULTURE CROSSING at Womex 2007. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Medioni's music evokes the cosmopolitan era of Oran in the 1940's- and is received with great success all over the world. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Maurice el Medioni was born in 1928 in the Jewish quarter of Oran, Algeria. He was only nine when he had his first encounter with the piano, quickly picking up French popular songs he heard on the radio. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After Oran was liberated by the allies in 1942, Maurice became part of the first Rai wave, mixing local with Latin music as well as the Jazz and Boogie-Woogie he learn from black US soldier. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the fifties he composed and played for the big names of Jewish Algerian cabaret performers like Lili Boniche, Blond Blond , Lili Labassi, Reinette l'Oranaise, Line Monty and hers.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
However, the end of Algerian civil war in 1962 meant the expulsion of the local Jewish population, and Maurice's family were forced into exile in Marseille, where he has lived until 2010, becoming known internationally in recent years for albums such as Cafe Oran (1996) and Pianoriental (1982/2000).