malavoiAre we absolutely obliged to wait for something to be totally dead to claim how we like it? So it is maybe time to talk about MALAVOI.

I won’t talk a lot about the current musical band called MALAVOI, but about the one before 1993 when violin were as sharp as buses in Helsinki and when the baritone voice of Paulo Rosine was making the “lévé” deep and soft but imperative enough that you couldn’t do anything else than stand up and do something.

(I still don’t find this video clip outdated… Well, maybe the flying violin is a tiny bit kitsch)

I consider MALAVOI both as a music band and a music school. All the big names of the Creole music had to sing with them in order to win notoriety and success. And what a school, what a privilege! It was bound to be step of the musical path in Martinique. And even for musician from other region of the Caribbean or of the world. Without being a proper « engaged group », Malavoi sang problems and everyday life of the french West Indian societies but was also concerned about international political issue as shown in this amazing song about Nelson Mandela « libèté pou kamarad » (Freedom for our friend):

MALAVOI was born in the early 70s, when young violinist Emmanuel Césaire « Mano » decided to revive traditional music and dancing tradition. Quickly they weren’t one public dance without this dynamic band, no one person dancing without MALAVOI violins’ in Martinique.

The band quickly started an international career and brought the traditional music from Martinique all other the world, from Canada to Russia, via Japan. That’s one of the reason why we are so grateful to MALAVOI. They made us exist internationally in the best possible way: by presenting our unique and multifaceted culture. By showing its versatility, from time to time spicy, from other time as soft of the toloman that elderly people like to have for diner.

We are also grateful because they made us like even more our peculiar culture, our specificity. They also enriched it by mixing it with other culture. They taught us that our interbreeding is a richness and we have to take advantage of it as they did in their music. Salsa from Cuba, compas from Haiti. They made us understand that we are entirely part of this Caribbean system and that of we have to be proud of that too. We are first Caribbean and our roots are there. In this arc of islands fondled by the Trade winds.

This was MALAVOI in a nutshell. And I realize now that Yes, MALAVOI is an engaged group for all of that.  Enjoy and share…

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