• Malavoi
    Date of birth:
    Created in 1972

In the 1970s, Martinique's music was losing ground. The local youth preferred sounds from Haiti (compas), Cuba (salsa) and the United States (jazz).

A group of friends from the Terres-Sainville neighborhood in Fort-de-France decided to form a group to create a style unique to Martinique. The goal of these four friends was to restore different old music and dances (biguines, mazurkas, quadrilles, etc.) influenced by salsa, Latin jazz and Cuban music, all of which was enhanced by a string section that would give the group its identity.

The group was initially formed by four violinists Mano Césaire, Jean-Paul Soïme, and Christian de Negri, a rhythm section with Denis Dantin on drums, and Marcel Rémion on bass.

In 1972 it was officially born under the name of Malavoi, which is a variety of sugar cane but also the name of a street on the island of Goree off the coast of Senegal, from where the slaves left for the Americas. They began by covering songs from the 30s and 40s and adding new sounds. They quickly became a hit with the local population.

Quite quickly, the formation is enriched by brass instruments: two trombones and a saxophone then it is the turn of the pianist Paulo Rosine to join the group of which he will become one of the pillars. Several singers will integrate the group or will take turns Pierre Pastel, Maurice Marie-Louise, Raymond Mazarin, Pierre Jabert or Julien Constance.

The first eponymous album Malavoi is released in 1978 with Ralph Thamar as singer and meets a great local success but paradoxically the group decides to stop for three years to find their own style. They came back in 1981 with Paulo Rosine as conductor.

At the same time, the group Kassav was born and instead of the two becoming competitors, they would together become the voice and ambassadors of Caribbean music and culture.

Thereafter, Malavoi will collaborate with other great names of Caribbean music, such as Kali, Tanya Saint-Val, Edith Lefel, Beethova Obas, Alan Cavé and the journalist Marie-José Alie among others.

The current members of the group are: Pipo Gertrude, Jean-José Lagier, Jean-Paul Soime, Christian De Negri, Marcel Remion, Philippe Porry, Jean-Luc Pino, José Privat, Daniel Dato. The most famous singers of this group will remain Ralph Thamar, Paulo Rosine and Pipo Gertrude.

This group has also generated "spin offs" such as Fal Fret' and Palaviré.

Malavoi will be with Kassav' the major group of the Martinique and Guadeloupe islands, from the 70s to the 90s, generally making full house in countries as far as Japan.

- Nou pé pa kenbé (1969) premiers enregistrements réédition 2006
- La filo (1982)
- Karésé mwen (1983)
- Ababa (1985)
- La Case à Lucie (1986)
- Live au Zénith (1987)
- Jou ouvè (1988) - Matébis (1992)
- La Belle Époque (1993)
- An maniman (1994) - Shé Shé (1996)
- Marronnage (1998)
- Live au Club Med World (2005)
- Les instrumentaux (2006)
- Pèp La (2009)

We can also mention the soundtrack of the film Rue Cases-Nègres by Euzhan Palcy, based on the eponymous novel by Joseph Zobel.