Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Jam Session with the Ni Cactus Blues

Today we spent the afternoon and most of the evening in Léa's cozy, little living room. Fataka, Josehito and Boana from Ni Cactus Blues, a Southern Malagasy band, had promised to improvise for us on the cyclone theme. How do you come up with such a band name? When you think about it, it's not that far off...



Cactus: because it's a typical plant from Southern Madagascar. Cactus Blues: because their music is a blend of traditional Malagasy music and blues. And Ni? Well, "Ni" is very important I was told because it's the definite article in Malagasy and the band wanted to make sure they'll never have to go to court over name rights with another Cactus band...

The blend is really special, great voices - and we just had so much fun!! As the day dawned Théo, another well-known Malagasy musician and a friend dropped by as well and soon we were nine people crammed around the living room table, jamming by candle light (Tana does have occasional power cuts), digging into Léa's Charcoal-Home-Made-French-Fries and listening to stories of Zebu thieves, bizarre Malagasy traditions and ancestor rites. A truly memorable evening.

Listen in to parts of the jam session:

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