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Jaojoby Eusèbe Jaojoby is the most popular singer in Madagascar and throughout the Indian Ocean islands. He is one of the founders and the most brilliant interpreter of the style that symbolizes the "Red Island," salegy. Born in 1955 in a village on the northeastern coast of Madagascar, Jaojoby and his 12 brothers and sisters grew up singing Catholic hymns in church choirs and traditional folk songs at village festivals, celebrations and community events. As a teenager, Jaojoby began performing professionally, blending elements of Malagasy roots music with Western influences, especially electric guitars and drumkits. While his musical career was sidetracked in the 1980s, he was convinced to participate in a French recording of salegy songs, which led to a hit single and the rejuvenation of Jaojoby’s prominence in the local music scene. Since releasing the first of seven solo albums in 1992, Jaojoby’s local and international following has continued to grow and he has become Madgascar’s most beloved performers and recording artists.
Singer and songwriter Razia Said's nomadic life has taken her across Africa to France, Italy, Ibiza, Bali and New York City, but despite these wanderings, her heart and soul remains inexorably tethered to Madagascar, the land of her birth. Over the years Razia experimented with chanson, rock, jazz and even R&B. But it took reaching back to her cultural roots for Razia to uncover her true artistic calling as one of African music's most promising talents. Since the release of her breakthrough album Zebu Nation in 2009, Razia has brought her message of environmental and cultural preservation to enraptured audiences on stages worldwide.
An author, composer and guitar virtuoso, Charles Kely grew up surrounded by the ba gasy tradition of the highland plateaus in Madagascar. Kely's style, which he describes as "open gasy,” refers to the open tuning so characteristic of Madagascar's guitarists. He is now focusing on his solo career with the release of the CD Zoma Zoma which captures his innovative approach to Malagasy music, which incorporates the open gasy style with a touch of bossa, jazz, blues, funk and subtle pan-African influences.
Claudine Robert Zafinera (also known as Dina) embodies a combination of the south and north of Madagascar. Her father is originally from the southwest and her mother from the northeast; her own unique style of salegy combines these cultures with infectious grooves. Dina and Jaojoby married in 1988 and they have been singing together ever since. In 2008 she created her own band: Saramba, formed mainly by women. The music of Saramba is based on Malagasy traditional music, the very characteristic powerful voice of Dina accentuate her lyrics about the urgent call for the Malagasy people to pay attention to women's issues.