French-Algerian guitarist Pierre Bensusan returns to McCabe’s

pierre-bensusan black and red 1His fret-work bedazzled at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and now Westsiders can soak up his internationally acclaimed acoustic guitar work when Pierre Bensusan returns to McCabe’s Guitar Shop on Friday night.

Voted “Best World Music Guitar Player” by Guitar Player magazine readers in 2008, Toronto-based Bensusan intends to play new pieces as well as cuts off of his 2014 live collection “Encore,” which includes music culled from three previous albums.

Along with Enrico Macias and Patrick Bruel, Bensusan is among the French-Algerian musicians of Sephardic Jewish heritage who have proved very successful in France. These musicians come from a population of 125,000 Jews among the 900,000 French who left Algeria, a former French colony, after the Algerian Revolution.

“I was four years old when my family moved from Algeria to mainland France, la Metropole,” said Bensusan, who weaves Spanish Sephardic, Arabo Andalous, flamenco, tango and classic Arabic sounds into his compositions. “[These genres] have never been alien to me but like close friends.”

Also not alien to Bensusan: a certain Santa Monica shop.

“I have played McCabe’s since 1979, maybe 20 times,” Bensusan said. “This is one of my favorite listening rooms and guitar shops in the country. I have lots of great remembrances.”

— Michael Aushenker

Pierre Bensusan performs at 8 p.m. Friday at McCabe’s, 3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. $24.50. (310) 828-4497;

Call the bar  at (310) 392-4040 for more information.