LE TROMPETISTE DE STALIN
The tragic fate of Eddie Grynberg, Stalin's favourite jazz trumpet-player.
A Parisian journalist, at fifty, Gabriel Linhardt loves jazz and sometimes performs in the bars of the capital in his off hours. One day, he receives a letter from an attorney in New York that will turn his life upside-down. An old uncle, living in New York and now on his deathbed, asks to see him. For this only child, whose family consists of just his parents the shock is enormous. In New York, Gabriel learns that he was adopted, and that his father was in fact the great Russian jazz trumpeter, Edouard Eddie Grynberg. His mother was a dancer, Elsa, and the two Jewish artists performed in Paris and in Moscow, where they finally took refuge from the Nazis. Eddie Grynberg plays for the Soviet upper crust, including Stalin until the day when Jdanov relegated «American» jazz to the dustbin of degenerate art. In a nightmare scenario, Elsa was swallowed up into the cellars of the NKVD, while Grynberg was sent to the gulag. Incapable of going on without Elsa, Eddie let himself die after having given his only propertya trumpet engraved with an inscription in Hebrewto an Ukranian prisoner with whom he had become friends, begging him to swear he would find Elsa and the child she had brought into the world, so that he would receive his meager inheritance. Correspondent of AFP news agency in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, Patrick Anidjar is the author of an essay on Iran's nuclear aspirations (La Bombe iranienne, Editions du Seuil, 2008). He is currently an assistant editor in chief at the AFP and lives in Paris.