This year marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the first missionaries to travel from Wales to Madagascar, and Money for Madagascar, a brilliant charity that began life here in South West Wales, organised a stellar concert to mark the occasion. It took place last Saturday in the magnificent Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Since Thelma is a Trustee of the charity, and I introduced the virtuoso player of the valiha – Justin Vali – to Wales, we couldn’t miss the occasion, even though we are due to leave for our Italian holiday barely a day later.
It was a wonderfully happy occasion with the Needham Ensemble, a wonderful string sextet based in Wales, playing the first half, and the Justin Vali group with Paddy Bush, just about the only Brit to have mastered the other kind of Malagasi harp, the Marovani. Justin has a long association with the family, having performed on sister Kate’s legendary “Blue Shoes” album. The group became personal friends and it was wonderful for me to catch up with Justin, Doudou and Paddy, and be introduced to Doudou’s daughter Mimi and the bass player Mami.
At the end of the concert, a big group of adults and children processed round the stage dancing various versions of the traditional “Salegy” dance.
Here are the pictures: http://phototwynog.co.uk/madagascar-concert