Roland Romanelli, born May 1946 in Algeria, has followed in the family tradition. At 15 he won the world accordion championships in Pavie, Italy.
When he came to Paris in 1966 he was first noticed by Mouloudji, then Colette Renard, but it was Barbara who made him the musician he is today. Twenty years they performed together; her favourite accordionist even composed the song A peine (Hardly) especially for her.
Apart from Barbara he has also worked with over a hundred different artists, either on stage or in the studio, artists such as Marie-Paule Belle, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Serge Lama, Nicolas Peyrac, Michel Polnareff, Charles Aznavour, Alain Barrière, Guy Béart, Patrick Bruel, Julien Clerc, Céline Dion, Johnny Hallyday, Patricia Kaas and even Marc Lavoine, Marie Laforêt, Marc Lavoine, Maria Pacôme, Pierre Perret, Michel Sardou, Stone & Charden, Line Renaud, Muriel Robin, Olivia Ruiz and Zazie.
In 1971 he was a pioneer of the synthesizer in France and in 1976 his Space album sold over 8 million copies around the world. In the 80s he was sought after by both the advertising sector (Dim, Findus, Garnier, Wonder, Woolmark, etc.) and the cinema sector: Pierre Boutron for Les Années Sandwiches (The Sandwich Years), Alexandre Arcady for Union Sacrée (Brothers in Arms) and Claude Zidi for Asterix and Obelix Take on Caesar [theme tune co-written with Jean-Jacques Goldman]. He also worked with Thierry Binisti, Joyce Bunuel, Miguel Courtois, Josée Dayan and Serge Ménard.
He has often joined forces with Cosma, Bruno Coulais, Georges Delerue, Francis Lai and Philippe Sardes and his TV credits include Des Racines et des Ailes (At home and abroad), made-for-TV films such as Le Voyage de La Veuve (The widow's journey) by Philippe Laïk, and series such as Joséphine, Ange Gardien (Joséphine, guardian angel). He is also involved in the world of theatre, working alongside the likes of Bedos, Bigard, Brialy and Perrin.
Jérôme Savary and he worked together in 2000 on Irma la Douce at Chaillot, starring Clotilde Courau, and continued right through to 2008 with Don Quichotte contre l'ange bleu (Don Quixote versus the blue angel) the 'opéra comique' starring Arielle Dombasle. Along the way there was L'air de Paris (Air of Paris) starring Patrick Dupont at the Espace Cardin, Mon alter Hugo (My Alter-Hugo) with Gérard Berliner at the Théâtre Marigny, Mademoiselle Faust with Manon Landowski and Les années St Germain (The St Germain Years) with Corinne Cousin. They also took these plays all over Europe.
In 2008 he penned his first musical, Barbara, 20 years of love, in recognition of "the lady I owe everything to". The première took place at the Théâtre de Paris and was performed to glowing reviews throughout Paris and the provinces. He and his muse, Rébecca, planned other forays into the musical scene. One of these projects, Les Nuits d'une Demoiselle (The nights of a young lady) with Pierre Hébertot, an anthology of saucy, burlesque songs saw the light of day in 2010.
In 2011 he returned to his instrument of choice, the accordion, and its lesser known little brother, the accordina, to play jazz, especially with top drummer Claude Salmiéri and Fred Manoukian's Big Band.