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KUCHING: On the islands of Madagascar and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, the cultures of Africa and Asia have collided and fused for centuries with fascinating consequences. Africans brought to the Indian Ocean islands the greatly varied cultures of their homelands, including folklore and certainly their musical heritage.

Festival goers at RWMF 2019 can revel in African music with the charm of the islands with Mauravann from Mauritius and Rajery of Madagascar.

Mauravann is made up of four well known artists from Mauritius, Linzi Backbotte, Emmanuel Desroches, Kurwin Castel and Samuel Duboi. The band was put together by artistic director, Percy Yip Tong, in 2016 to showcase the music of the islands of the South West Indian Ocean.

Their repertoire is based on Sega and its traditional instruments. Sega originated during the 17th century from the slaves who were captured from different parts of Africa and Madagascar and brought to Mauritius. The music was an expression of their unimaginable suffering due to their exile and uprooting. Often played and danced around a bonfire, the Sega came alive through the traditional instruments. Mauravann plays a contemporary Sega with accents of blues, reggae and soul and is set to get festival goers dancing to the pulsating beats and infectious rhythms.

The highly diverse and distinctive music of Madagascar has been shaped by the musical traditions of many countries, especially Africa, Arabia and Asia as successive waves of settlers have made the island their home.

Malagasy singer songwriter Rajery brings forth to RWMF his mastery in the valiha, an instrument that is part zither, part lute. So accomplished is he in playing this instrument, he is called the Prince of the Valiha. Not only has he mastered the emblematic instrument of Madagascar, he has transformed it and rejuvenated national interest in the country’s indigenous music in the process and infused it with jazz therefore helping it win an increasingly larger role on the stage of world music.

Rajery is promoting Mokiza Miaina or the Live Music of Madagascar. This draws its roots in the Malagasy land while accepting the impregnation of foreign musical influences, thus giving it a universal dimension.

He has been performing globally with different collaborations and presentations for many years. Now, with his new band, he is preparing his 7th album where he wants to offer an open repertoire while respecting Madagascar’s rhythmic patterns and colours.

On lyrics committed to the preservation of the environment or the peasant world defence, Rajery’s music is generous as his smile that he naturally displays; timeless and airy, it is an invitation to travel where borders have no place.

With Rajery on stage at RWMF think beautiful harmonies, vocal warmth and amazing skills on their instruments.

The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place from July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and is organized by the Sarawak Tourism Board, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth & Sports Sarawak.





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