Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Macias, Enrico (Gaston Ghrenassia)
(639 words)

Enrico Macias (né Gaston Ghrenassia) is perhaps the best-known Jewish musician from North Africa. Born in Constantine, Algeria, on December 11, 1938 into a highly musical family, he began playing the guitar at a very young age. At fifteen, Macias played guitar in the famed orchestra of Raymond Leyris (known as Cheikh Raymond), in which his father, Sylvain Ghrenassia, was a violinist. He was not, however, encouraged to pursue music full-time, and instead became a teacher to young, primarily Muslim students in Aïn Frain. 

In 1961 Raymond Leyris was brutally murdered, and in the …

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Sasha Goldstein-Sabbah, “Macias, Enrico (Gaston Ghrenassia)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 11 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0014160>
First published online: 2010

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