Marcello Botbol: Artistic and Humanitarian Icon

Marcello Botbol belongs to one of the most famous Jewish artistic families in Morocco. He is the son of the musician Jacob Botbol, known for his remarkable performance of Malhoun, and the brother of the singer Haïm Botbol. He was a distinguished violinist in the group that brought him together with his three brothers, in addition to their father, before his death. This group was founded in the 1950s. Generations of Moroccans have lived with him the peak of his artistic production and one of the most prolific stages in the history of Moroccan song.

On top of the beautiful music he played for many years, Marcello Botbol was known for his morality and human values. All his friends and relatives, whom he always welcomed with open arms, acknowledged him.

Marcello, his famous restaurant in Tangier, has always been a favorite destination for artists and lovers of authentic music. They used to go there from all over Morocco to appreciate his playing as well as the performance of the singers who perform there.

Marcello Botbol was born in 1945 in Fez. He joined his father’s band at a very young age, before moving to Casablanca to work in several of his nightclubs, attracting a large audience of fans. He later spent a good part of his life in Paris. After a period in Montreal, he moved to Tangier, where he opened a restaurant that became the destination of choice for Moroccan Jews from all over the world, as well as for many Muslims.

Marcello Botbol has worked with the giants of Moroccan singers such as Salim Halali, Sami Al Maghrabi and Haim Locke, in addition to Algerian artists such as Abdelkader Chaou. He had a strong friendship with all of these artists.

Marcello Botbol also had a cinematic experience through the film “Midnight Orchestra” by the Jewish Moroccan director Jerome Cohen Olivar. There he played alongside the famous Moroccan comedian Gad El Maleh.

Marcello Botbol has just died in a Parisian hospital after being infected with the Coronavirus a few weeks ago. With his death, Morocco has lost an irreplaceable artistic and humanitarian icon.

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