Malagasy Valiha Master, Sylvestre Randafison Dies at 75

Madagascar – Sylvestre Randafison, a key figure in the development of Madagascar’s most famous instrument, the valiha, passed away July 12.

Born Randafison Benjamin Sylvestre, Sylvestre Randafison was a major
influence on numerous younger musicians including Justin Vali, Rajery, Ratovo, and Doné Andriambaliha. Sylvestre Randafison was more than a musician. He was also a musical instrument maker and an ethnomusicologist at the National Academy of Madagascar. In the early ’90s he was an artist in residence at the University of Washington in Seattle.