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Halali, Salim

(361 words)

Author(s): Samuel Reuben Thomas
The musician Salim (Shlomo, Simon) Halali, a celebrated bandleader, singer, and percussionist in post-independence Morocco, was born on July 30, 1920 in Annaba, Algeria and claimed to be a descendant of the Chaouia Berber tribe. He began his career in 1930s Paris, quickly becoming a sought-after singer of Spanish-inflected music. To avoid Nazi deportation during the World War II occupation, Halali obtained a certificate of conversion to Islam from the rector of the Paris mosque, Kaddour Benghrabit. While in France, Halali released a recording as bandleader,   Halali en Arabe , that p…

Solal, Martial

(482 words)

Author(s): Samuel Reuben Thomas
Martial Solal, renowned worldwide as a jazz pianist and composer, was born in Algiers on August 23, 1927. His mother was an opera singer, and he began studying piano at age six, but his interests soon developed away from classical music. According to Solal, the period of Vichy rule in Algeriawas inadvertently beneficial for his musical studies. Because of the Aryanization laws that banned Jews from many realms of Algerian society, Solal intensified his study of music in an area open to Jewish partici…