Singer-songwriter and environmental activist Razia Said spent her youth in the vanilla-growing region of Madagascar’s northeast coast. After years of living overseas, she went back to discover Madagascar’s landscape devastated by illegal logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and the effect of climate change.
In an endeavor to raise awareness at the local and international level, Razia organized the Mifohaza Masoala (Wake Up Masoala) music and environmental festival, which took place at the edge of the Masoala Rainforest in October 2011. The concert featured some of Madagascar’s most thrilling performers, and the festival was a tremendous success, with over 10,000 people in attendance. Leading up to the concert, the local communities planted a total of 20,000 trees as a positive step to bring new life to a country that loses 1,000 trees a day to illegal logging.
The concert participants agreed that the next step was to take the music and the message to the world since the logging in Madagascar is driven by demand from international buyers, including a giant market in the United States. The Wake Up Madagascar Tour will bring together the same outstanding musicians and dancers who performed at the rainforest in Madagascar to create an inspiring celebration of salegy music. With its heart-pounding rhythms, rippling guitars, lush vocal harmonies, bouncy accordion and hip-shaking dance moves, salegy represents the soul and spirit of Madagascar and is the music that makes Madagascar dance.
Since January, Razia has been busy working with environmental groups such as the Environmental Investigation Agency, Friends of the Earth and Reverb to coordinate a pledge campaign to urge lawmakers, suppliers and craftsmen to ensure that art has a positive impact on the environment rather than contributing to forest destruction.
Razia’s call to fellow musicians to unite with her in this effort has elicited such celebrities as Mick Jagger, Sting, Bryan Adams, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, David Crosby, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Maroon 5, Lily Allen, Jason Mraz and 40,000 other musicians and individuals to pledge their support for the Lacey Act and other laws that prohibit trade in illegally sourced wood. The concert tour comes at a critical time, as Congress is considering several bills that would gut the Lacey Act’s forest and wildlife protections and job-saving measures.
Full Tour Dates:
FRI-July 13 – Minneapolis, MN at Cedar Cultural Center
SAT-July 14 – Madison, WI at La Fête de Marquette
SUN-July 15 – Chicago, IL at Martyr’s
TUE-July 17 – Toronto, ON at Lula Lounge
WED-July 18 – Montreal, QC at Festival Nuits D’Afrique
THU-July 19 – Somerville, MA at Johnny D’s
FRI-July 20 – Northampton, MA at Iron Horse
SAT-July 21 – New York City, NY at Le Poisson Rouge
TUE-July 24 – San Francisco, CA at Yoshi’s Jazz Club
THU-July 26 – Pasadena, CA at Levitt Pavilion
More information at www.wakeupmadagascar.com