Jean Emilien:seeking for help for having attendees plant trees as entry fees to his concert
How come such a Malagasy artist who has received a worldwide recognition is barely known by Malagasy? This guy a toured the world with his music, played with the big guys (opend Carlos Santana’s concert in Paris), is a world champion in diatonic tremolo (awarded in Detroit – U.S.A), and has received praise from recognized blues chronicles … but is barely known by its own peers in Madagascar … Typically illustrating the “ny mpaminany tsy masina an-taniny” (“a prophet has no influence in its own village” – approximative translation, I do admit)
Jean Emilien, born in Fianrantsoa, was initiated to music by his grand-father who was buried with his “Jejy voatavo” an commonly used instrument in this part of Madagascar. He learned playing kabôsy while guarding the zebus. His father, however, didn’t really appreciate him playing music and hardly hit Jean Emilien’s head with his Kabôsy – though Jean Emilien left his father’s house at the age of 17.
Artistically, Jean Emilien didn’t stay long playing occidental and reggae music. He quickly deepen his knowledge of local patrimony, specifically the “vako-drazana”. While different rhythms prevail in Malagasy songs (salegy, jejy, vakisaova, …), Jean Emilien focused on the “rija” – his region’s style. A choice that has paid off, just see by yourself by having a look at Jean Emilien press-book. This guy has impressed the greatest in this world – Hats-off