Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Big Market

Can you imagine having to drive through here?
Driving in Antananarivo is, even after two years, still a real adventure. You have to have nerves made of steal. Not that people drive fast, or very badly. The problem is the sheer number of people selling and walking on the road. In fact, Tana is one huge, big market. Most streets in the centre are ligned up with vendors, market stalls or ambulent sellers.

Madagascar used to host the biggest market in Africa, the Zoma, which means Friday. Though the Zoma has officially been banned by the municipality because it caused too much traffic jams, the markets continue to florish, and not only on Fridays...

The good thing about driving through and in between all the people is that you can take pictures easily.

It's like being in a permanent tropical, Africa museum with the sounds, smells and colours!
Selling 'brede' (green leaves)

News paper stall

Selling herbs, potions and lotions

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ha! Jazz!

I have already written before about how much musical talent Madagascar boasts. In every family you'll find at least one guitarist and many singers. Church choirs are booming on Sunday mornings and karaoke bars in the evenings.

From this.... (valiha)
Yet, for professional musiciens it is not easy to make a living. Take Hajazz. Hajazz has been an excellent guitarists for over 35 years, playing in Germany, France and Mauritius. He learned to play from his big brother on a traditional home-made guitar. For his 14th birthday his father bought him a real guitar, made in China, and that's when his carreer took off. All he did was practice and practice and practice until he mastered his very own particular style. His style is a mix of traditional tunes and rural rythms with modern jazz and blues, imitating the sounds of the valiha, the traditional Malagasy string instrument made of bamboo.

In the current climate in Madagascar music is not something many people are willing to pay for. Hajazz, like many other musiciens, is struggling to make a living. He deserves better. He has played with some of the bigger stars on the planet, Salif Keita, George Benson...but (so cute) he admits it: 'my grand father is still my biggest idol!'

To this..... Hajaz in action last Sunday
And this.... super relaxed CD for sale 15.000 Ar (only 7 USD)

Want to buy a CD and support Hajaz and Malagasy artists, leave a message here or email hajagitara@yahoo.fr