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Rares Morarescu

Born in 1966 in Bucharest from an Italian mother working for the Defence Ministry, and Romanian father economist for the Ministry of Industry, Rares was recognised as a musical prodigy at the age of three and received the best classical education from the Russian School on Piano and violin.

He also benefited from the affluence and knowledge of the family and was encouraged by his father to study extensively medicine and music. Aged 14 & 15 he had a life changing encounter in France when he met Jazzmaster Stephane Grapelli who coached him during summer holidays, starting a lifelong passion for Jazz and Swing.

In his mid-teen, he was already working professionally at a national level in Romania, and quickly became a household name performing popular music and traditional folk music. With notoriety came opportunities and he was invited to move to New York between 1982 and 1984. There he played pop and dance music in large orchestras, mainly performing written music for dancers in very large halls in the US east coast.

While also performing with various American bands as a soloist and improviser, he started to work on cruise ships regularly for the Carnival company, in the Caribbean and Latin America. During those years he learnt to master the violin in Cuban and Latin American music both with small and large ensembles.

In the early 90s in New York, Rares met his future wife Veronica, an Italian art gallerist. They quickly decided to start a family and moved to Sicily where he formed his own band, a traditional “Romanian Taraf” band made of his old music companions from Bucharest. The band performed traditional Eastern European music and Gypsy music with violin, double bass, clarinet, accordion, and Marius Mihalache on cimbalom who later became world famous.

Having an exceptional memory, he assimilated the vast repertoires of Italian music, from Classical to Neapolitan music and traditional folk songs. He quickly became a first call session soloist and kept on working all over Italy as a recording artist, soloist, arranger, performing with Paolo Conte until his death, and many other acts.

All the while, his Romanian Taraf kept touring Italy opening for Earth Wind and Fire, Kool and the Gang, Stevie Wonder among many others. His reputation brought him to be nominated and win the “National Artist of the year 2004 award” in for cultural contribution from the Italian ministry of Culture.

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Benoit Viellefon
guitar and vocals


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