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Reinette l'Oranaise

Reinette l'Oranaise

Sultana Daoud(aka Reinette l'Oranaise; 1918 in Tiaret, French Algeria – 17 November 1998, in Paris) was an Arab-Jewish singer of Moroccan descent, who helped preserve Arab-Andalus music, as well as introducing the genre to European audiences.She was born in Tiaret, a largely bedouin town, the daughter of a Moroccan Rabbi. Being blind as a result of smallpox when two years old, she studied at a school for the blind in Algiers, until her mother encouraged her to take up music. She studied with Saoud l'Oranais, who gave her the nickname Reinette l'Oranaise ("Queenie from Oran"). From him she learned to play several instruments, and learned a great many traditional songs in the Arab-Andalus and Raï styles. They moved to Paris in 1938, but at his suggestion she soon returned to Algeria. There she joined the orchestra of Meriem Fekkai, until Algerian independence ended her career - she had been opposed to independence. Unable to find work in her home country, she returned to France, playing in restaurants and private parties for the North African Jewish community in Paris.In the 1980s the increased interest in "World Music" brought her to the media's attention, and she was once again able to perform to large audiences. She sang in Arabic and ladino and was a highly respected chaabi performer, performing with even Cheik El Haj Mohammed El Anka, who made over 130 lps. Even though she was Jewish, she was very loved by Oran's Muslim population and left a rich chaabi legacy.


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