Johnny Raducanu

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The Independent Online

Johnny Raducanu, who died of a heart attack yesterday aged 79, was a celebrated jazz musician whose Roma family has been making music for three centuries, and whose own career as a jazz musician spanned 60 years.

He was spotted as a 19-year-old playing the contrabass and went on to study music in Bucharest, Iasi and Cluj. Over the decades he inspired generations of young Romanian musicians.

He loved playing the piano in smoky Bucharest bars but performed with equal ease in the former Soviet Union, Sweden, Spain, France and the US, among others. In 1987 he received an honorary membership from the Louis Armstrong Academy in New Orleans, and the journalist and musician Leonard Feather called him "Mr Jazz of Romania".