Who are they?
Valihas, Musical Director
An ambassador of Malagasy music for over twenty years, Justin Vali is a composer and considered as the greatest master of the valiha (a tubular zither), the “national” Malagasy instrument. He has been making his instrument known throughout the world thanks to international tours (North America, Europe, Asia & Australia…) and many recordings (Labels Auvidis/Silex, Realworld, World Library, Cinq Planètes…).
Justin Vali received the 2006 Sacem Grand Prize for Traditional Music.
Tao Ravao has directed record productions for the labels Indigo (D’Gary, Rajery RFI Award), Cobalt (Senge RFI Award) and Marabi (Christian Mousset, Festival Musiques Métisses in Angoulême). A musician at the crossroads of cultures, he has accompanied bluesmen in the United States for a long time (1979 New Orleans Festival) before rediscovering the Malagasy heritage of his childhood. A composer and arranger, he has 7 records under his name.
Thierry Bongarts Lebbe
Production, administration et management tournée
Thierry Bongarts Lebbe is a musician (Piano Prize) and a music historian. He was the assistant to the director of the French Cultural Center in Damas, and then the Artistic Director of the JMF (Jeunesses Musicales de France network). In 2001, he created Carthago Music. Now, he accompanies the careers of artists from all origins and leads international cultural projects.
Born in 1963 in Itaosy (Antananarivo Province), Dieudonné comes from a family of musicians and dancers (his uncle was a professional accordionist). As a child, he already accompanied the family bands on maracas. Then he played the langoraona (traditional snare drum) and finally the large drum. Between 1976 and 1982, he was a professional dancer.
When his uncle, who was the leader of the traditional band Voninavoko, passed away, he joined that band and remained in it for 10 years (playing outside of Madagascar in many festivals). It is then that he learned the flute and the valiha…
In 1993, he joined Kalaza (a prestigious band where Rakotofrah, Dama from the band Mahaleo, the great guitarist Colbert as well as Pana have played) as a dancer, percussionist and marovany player. Scandinavian tour. In 1994, he played in the band Tarika, touring around the world (Germany and United States…).
In 2003, he left Tarika to form a band with all the artists in his family. Invited in Mauritius in February 2007 for the celebrations of the abolition of slavery, the band also went to Réunion in April 2007 and to Japan in July.
Now he is a master of vako-drazana (a traditional stage designed folklore with a style that includes several rural traditions).
Singer, Mandoline player
Fils d'une mère musicienne, il commence sa jeune carrière à 10 ans avec le groupe Tsivarioky puis Antsiva marqués par le style du Sud (Fort-Dauphin).
Mandoliniste et percussionniste et, il forme son propre groupe Seva à l’âge de 16 ans, joue dans tous les festivals du Sud, puis rejoint la capitale à 21 ans… où il accompagne quelques célébrités tels Fidy de l' Anosy, Hazolahy…
Maître des styles Pitiky Langay et sarandra, Gilberto chante aussi dans le style vocal de Fort-Dauphin.
Chrysantho est né en 1976 à Antanimora dans la Province de Tulear.
Il apprend la guitare en autodidacte et rencontre très vite les musiciens reconnus de sa région pour en maîtriser les différents styles.
Guitariste professionnel et considéré comme l'un des maîtres du Rodoringa (style musical très enlevé et rythmique animant les jeux de luttes) il joue aussi le Tsinjabey (musique jouée lors des enterrements).
Il se produit pour des animations, concerts, cabarets, mariages, enterrements…
Francis Fafa Rakotoson Andrianomanana
Francis, aka Fafa, was born in Fianaratsoa, and has lived in the port town of Tamatave for 15 years. He started as a sailor (fishing known as longline on a Mauritian boat) for 5 years, before becoming an inventory clerk.
As a young adult, he started playing the Jejo voatavo with the masters Rado Louis, Radjoma, Dada Zanaka.
His instrument comes from the land of the Betsileo. Rare and fragile, threatened with extinction, the Jejo voatavo used to be played to get rid of evil spirits and animate the turning of the bones ceremonies.
The Malagasy themselves don’t always know it, and only the Betsileo play it.
Fafa regularly plays at the Alliance Française in Tamatave, in the band Tremplin, composed of Raoul (Mahaleo), Sylvain Rakoto (percussions) and Rochel (guitar). A key organization in Tamatave, Tremplin has given itself the mission of spotting and promoting local young musicians, in partnership with the Alliance Française.
Ramananerisoa Jean-Donné, aka Donné or Ra-Donné, was born in 1972. He comes from a large family of musicians in the Hira Gasy tradition, a kind of folk opera that blends improvisation and traditional song.
In 1977, he joined the Hira Gasy band “Sahondrafine Zanany”. He played the violin and the trumpet.
In 1992, first tour abroad with the show Dadagaby and the group “Voninavoko”. French tour in 1993 and in Réunion in 1994. In 1995, he participated in the MASA festival (Marché des Arts et du Spectacle Africain, African Performing Arts Market) in the Ivory Coast. In 1997, he toured Italy, Switzerland and France. In 1999, he performed in Bordeaux (France).
In 2004, he created his own band, “Donné Sahondrafine”. He adapted the Hira Gasy tradition to the stage. Series of concerts in Réunion in 2006.
Donné has worked with the bands “Sivy Mahasaky”, “Ralanto Kangasy”, “Rakoto Frah”, “Ricky”, “Dama”, “Samoëla”, and “Zamba”.
Illustratrice et Graphiste
Geneviève Marot est illustratrice et Graphiste. Elle est chargée de la communication visuelle du Malagasy Orkestra : CD, livret sous forme de carnet de voyage, affiche…
En janvier et février 2010, elle part sur les routes de Madagascar pour cinq semaines, ses carnets de croquis sous le bras. L’épine dorsale de son voyage est la rencontre de chacun des musiciens de l’orchestre, afin de les découvrir dans leur lieu d’habitation, leur famille, comprendre comment ils vivent leur instrument.
En plus des carnets de croquis qu’elle a rapporté, elle termine actuellement les portraits des dix musiciens du Malagasy Orkestra, sur des toiles de 120 x 80 cm, conçues pour être facilement exposables.
Geneviève Marot est l’auteur de « Cambodge, dans les rues de Phnom Penh », ed Gallimard, et co-auteur avec les Carnettistes Tribulants de « Banlieue Nomade », « Ce que j’aime en toi », « Vivre Vieux ! Carnet de rencontres », ed Alternatives.
Former members of the Orkestra :
Ramarokoto Fernand Odon Haingotiana was born on 13 January 1970 in Befelatanana (Antananarivo). A luthier, he makes all kinds of traditional Malagasy instruments and accessories.
In 1983, he joined Rakoto Frah to make traditional Vakodrazana music. In 1985, they founded the band “Rajery”, and then in 1992 the group “Gamana”. Many national tours ensued.
In 1993, he toured the Indian Ocean with the dance band “Rary”. In 1995, he joined the band “Samoela”. European tour in 1996. In 1998, he also toured Europe with the group “Koezy”, which played Salegy music.
In 1999, he founded the band “Tambour Gasy”, a group of a dozen percussionists playing traditional instruments. That is when he created his luthier workshop. He also teaches Malagasy music.
Between 2000 and 2006, he went on another tour in Europe, Africa and the Indian Ocean with the band “Rajery”.
Born in 1962 in Fianaratsoa in a betsileo family, Maurice Razanakoto plays the kabossy and the jejo. A luthier, he makes traditional Malagasy instruments (kabossy, jejo…) but also Western instruments (electric bass…). Maurice died in January 2014. He will remain in our hearts.
Remanidry was born in Ambatomasy, near Beloha, in the Toliara Province. He has inherited music from his ancestors, his family and his father.
He has also learned how to build instruments and make them evolve. Although he is proud to know how to use strings made of sheep gut, he can also use strings made of bike brake cable. He calls his music Kokolampo, after a spiritual figure (a healing spirit people venerate and respect). The violin is the means to communicate with him or to call on him…
Jean-Piso was born in 1951 in the Toliara Province, in Ejeda. As a child, he listened to his grandfather play the diatonic accordion and secretly borrowed it from him…
When he was 10, his uncle encouraged his family to have him play regularly in official events, in order to make the young man a professional musician. As a high schooler in Toliara, he created his first orchestra. He learned the rhythm guitar and played ’60s pop music “standards” (Beatles, Shadows…).
From 1971 to 1973, he performed in the band Odeamrakoto, which played traditional musics from the High Plateaus. He lived in Toliara from 1999 to 2003, where he performed at the hotel “Chez Alain”, a weekly cabaret show. In 2003, he founded the band Arembelo, with whom he directed 2 videos, regularly played on Malagasy television channels. He also performs at the Alliance Française, solo, as a guest or with his band.
Jean-Piso is the president of the organization Kaliroke, which brings together and defends the accordionists of the Toliara region.