Born in Romania the 1st of December 1931 in Braila, Johnny Raducanu is descended from a long line of Gypsy musicians. At the age of 8, he starts playing the piano with one of his brothers. A year later, he knows the first Czerny notebook by heart, and gets a grant for the academy of music of his native town.
During his young years, he discovers on his older brothers’ gramophone « Caravan » and « Prelude to a kiss » by Duke Ellington. Jazz is a revelation, even if at that time Johnny believes that « Jazz » is the name of an artist, and not that of a musical trend. A premonition perhaps, given that 20 years later, the so-called Duke Ellington nicknamed him “Mister Jazz of Romania”, during a performance in Bucharest.