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Azeddine Chergui and Hassan Bourara

Moroccan singer, composer, and musician, was born Ahmed Chahboun in Casablanca in 1918 to a modest father from Agadir in the Souss region of Morocco. El Bidaoui grew up in an old medina neighborhood well known for its many stores that sold and rented musical instruments. At an early age, he developed a taste for classical Arabic music and traditional religious songs (such as “Nashid” and “Madih”). According to his son, musical instruments were so expensive that his family had to rent him one. He debuted at a very young age with the first Moroccan “Takht,” a traditional Arab musical ensemble he set up with Moroccan Jewish musicians. The first songs he composed in the 1940s drew the attention of King Mohammed V who, in 1946 asked him to set up a Moroccan music orchestra This he did along with Abbas Al Khiyati Al Ghali Al Khiyati and ...


Barbara Bonous-Smit

harpist, was born Ann Stevens Hobson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the younger of two daughters of Grace Stevens Smith and Harrison D. Hobson. Her father was a social worker and her mother an accomplished pianist and a Philadelphia public school teacher. Her older sister, Harriet Hobson, was a child prodigy who began piano studies at age two, performed in piano recitals by age four, and by high school gave up the instrument.

When Hobson was five her family moved to Germany where her father a U S Army lieutenant colonel was stationed in Giessen and Mannheim after World War II Hobson s musical training began at age six with her mother s lessons on piano and music fundamentals She attended the U S Army school and her musical talent was further nurtured by German piano teachers and the rich musical and cultural heritage of Germany The Hobsons spent ...


David E. Spies

composer and musician, was born Herbert Horatio Nichols in New York City, the son of Joel Nichols, a building supervisor, and Ida (maiden name unknown). His parents, originally from Trinidad and St. Kitts, had moved to New York in 1910. Nichols first lived at Sixty-first Street and Eleventh Avenue, in the area known at the time as San Juan Hill. The family moved to Harlem when Nichols was seven. When he was not practicing or winning at chess, checkers, or marbles, the young Nichols spent much time in the public library. From age seven to age fourteen he took lessons in classical piano and general music instruction with Charles L. Beck. An intelligent and motivated youngster, Nichols attended DeWitt Clinton High School and began study at City College of New York at age fifteen.

While still in high school Nichols who was introduced to jazz piano ...