Rajery is respected as one of the most innovative valiha players working today. He is constantly invited to participate in projects by other musicians, be it traditional music, jazz, rock, or reggae. He has toured globally and collaborated with numerous projects and musicians. In addition, Rajery runs a valiha factory--Top Valiha--and a school, which he hopes to expand dramatically in years to come. In 1995, he initiated a festival for handicapped artists and athletes in Madagascar, with some funding from abroad. In musical, cultural, and social arenas, Rajery is a powerful progressive force in Madagascar today.
Back in May 2016 in Madagascar...
The taxi driver pulled off the road (note: I often think we're back in 1960s when I looked at these taxis!) after a bit of an adventurous drive, there he is, Rajery is waving to us on the pathway. It was the second day after we arrived in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, still too excited about this country and of course meeting up with Rajery!
He lead us through the tiny laneways with kids playing soccer, to his house studio. He and his son, Zo, contributed a new original song of theirs, called Zebu (Malagasy buffalo).
While we were still buzzing about this great track, he said 'we're playing a gig on the east coast tomorrow, do you want to come?', 'I have an old car, we can drive but it needs 3 new tires.' Well, pretty good deal I suppose. We exchanged a 3 day road trip with 3 tyres!
It was a joy traveling with Rajery and the band, filming at a small village on the road, sharing meals at cafes and hearing their stories of touring and families. Misaotra.
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