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Chico of the Group Chico and the Gypsies : «Oran is an important stopover in our program»
un article par Djamel Benachour, El Watan

Video: Chico, UNESCO Artist for Peace

«Oran [Algeria] is an important stopover in our program», Chico of the Group Chico and the Gypsies indicated Thursday to APC during a press conference.

click on photo to enlarge

The group was created by Chico after his separation from the Gypsie Kings in 1991, which explains the confusion that occurred when their participation was announced for the 50th anniversary of Algerian independence. Chico's parents come from the region (his father was Moroccan, hence his name - Bouchikhi). He was accompanied by two of his musicians, as well as cheb Abbes, singer of the raï de Saïda which whom it will interpret a duet in the evening. "My roots are to a great extent here", he added, recalling his first concert in Algeria which was at the stadium in Algiers on July 5, ten years ago. "At that time," he recalled, "even the Algerian artists living abroad hesitated to come and play in Algeria, but as for me, I came as a sign of solidarity and I can tell you that I was received in an incredible way."

As an anecdote, he was the person who gave the name "Triana" to the group with that name in Algiers, of which the founders were his nephews. Chico was designated "artist for peace" by UNESCO when it was under the direction of Federico Mayor. He recalls meeting there with Shimon Perez and Yasser Arafat, "my brother who was assassinated by the Mossad. That reinforced my conviction to work for tolerance and world peace and I decided to take up the pilgrim's staff (my guitar), to preach the culture of peace."

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the group, a new album will be issued soon with a number of duets including with Daniel Guichard and Nana Mouskouri. Chico will participate in the animation of the evening concert on July 5 along with cheb Khaled who has come back again this year to his native city.

The shows around the July 5 celebration in Oran will amount to a festival, including parades of local and foreign groups, "a sort of carnival", according to the director of the city office of arts and culture who promises to invite more and more groups from other countries in order to achieve an international festival like those of Morocco (Mawazine, Essaouira, etc.) The international parade along the waterfront (Boulevard de l'ALN) organized Wednesday with thousands of spectators gave a foretaste of what can become a great festival dedicated to music and the joy of life.

(Click here for a French version of this article)


Question(s) liée(s) à cet article:

What place does music have in the peace movement?,

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Commentaire le plus récent:

As of now, there are 33 CPNN articles on this theme, which shows the great extent to which music is the universal language of peace!

Cet article a été mis en ligne le 12 juillet, 2012.