The composer and musician Justin Vali, seen as the greatest living player of the valiha (traditional Malagasy tube zither), has been an ambassador for the music of Madagascar for twenty years. Born into a family of valiha makers and players, at the age of seven Justin was tutored by his maternal grandfather Railazafy, who specialised in the rhythms of southern Madagascar. He combines all the different styles present on the island, highlighting the ‘soul’ of each and fulfilling a promise made to his ancestors. He has toured all over the world, playing at major events such as Womex and Woodstock, and made recordings on labels including Auvidis/Silex, Realworld, World Library and Cinq Planètes. Justin Vali was awarded the Grand Prix de la Sacem in 2006 for traditional music. He has worked with international artists such as Peter Gabriel and Paddy Bush.
The left-handed virtuoso Joel Rabesolo is the most acclaimed guitarist of his generation in Madagascar. In 2006 he won first prize in a jazz guitar competition in Antananarivo. He then developed his musical research, which also embraces other artistic disciplines: painting, choreography, and poetry with Jean Paul Delore. Since 2010 he has taken part in several international artistic projects with Linley Marthe, Fabien Degryse, the Toko Telo band and Island Jazz. He is currently studying at the Conservatoire Royal in Brussels.
Born on the High Plateaux of Madagascar, Hanta has lived in several different areas of the island, including the South where she spent her childhood. She loves traditional ceremonies and has drawn inspiration from a variety of musical genres including Beko and Tsapi.