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With the death of Marcel Dadi in a 1996 plane crash, the world lost one of its greatest guitar flat-pickers. Inspired by the playing of American guitarists, including Doc Watson, Merle Travis, and Chet Atkins, Dadi had masterfully crafted a flat-picking style of his own. A native of Sousse in Tunisia, Dadi moved to Paris at the age of three. Playing guitar since the age of ten, he joined Andre Assouline, Joseph Illouz, and Maurice Levy to form a rock instrumental band before his 13th birthday.
Inspired by the music of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan, Dadi continued to expand his musical vision. Taken under the wing of guitarist Bernard Photzer, he was introduced to the music of Elvis Presley and other '50s rockers. Photzer also taught him the rudiments of flat-picking. As a soloist with French folk singer Hugues Aufray, Dadi began to develop his own approach to guitar flat-picking. Writing instructional articles for a folk music review since 1972, he introduced his rigorous training method, which utilizes a fingering chart, in the March 1972 issue.