Tag Archives: Rajery

Artist Profiles: Rajery

Rajery – Photo courtesy of Small Island Big Song

Germain Randrianrisoa, better known as Rajery is an influential singer, songwriter, composer and valiha virtuoso from Madagascar.

Despite losing all his fingers on one hand, at the tender age of 11 months, Rajery taught himself to play the valiha as a child. His valiha is a tubular zither made of bamboo with bicycle brake cables constituting its multiple strings. Through hard work and determination he mastered the instrument, developing his own technique adapted to his handicap.

By 1983 he gave his first concert to an incredulous audience, but by then Rajery was a living legend in Madagascar, where he commands huge audiences at his concerts and where, with the help of UNESCO and Handicap International, he has created a manufacturing center for the Valiha, this most typical instrument of the traditional Malagasy music.

Discovered by two French journalists who were on assignment in Antananarivo, Rajery caught the attention of world music professionals in France, who organized his appearances at concerts and festivals in France.

Now a recording star, Rajery likes to travel the world to popularize Malagasy music and the Valiha. As he says, instead of being a hindrance, his handicap is his strength, a message he wants to share with others.

His repertoire is drawn from all six regions and musical traditions of Madagascar and he sings in the Malagasy language about simple themes such as bush fires, cattle thieves, storytellers and other themes related to life on this impoverished but beautiful big island. Although local in nature, the emotion brought about by his songs and music is in fact universal.

His quartet includes Jean Charles Razanakoto (acoustic guitar), Vahiniry Rabaroelina (percussion) and Olivier Andriamampianina (bass guitar).

Rajery formed 3MA, a trio of African string instrument masters: kora virtuoso Ballaké Sissoko (Mali) and Moroccan ud maestro Driss El Maloumi.


Dorotanety (Indigo, 1999)
Fanamby (Indigo, 2001)
Volontany (Indigo, 2004)
Sofera (Marabi, 2007)
3 MA (2008)
Tantsaha (2012)
Bedia (2014)
Anarouz, with 3MA (Six Degrees, 2018)


3MA at the Top of the Transglobal World Music Chart in January 2018

3MA – Anarouz

Anarouz (Six Degrees), the latest album by 3MA, a group featuring three high profile African musicians Ballaké Sissoko, Driss El Maloumi, Rajery, is the number 1 album in January 2018 at the Transglobal World Music Chart. Ballaké Sissoko (Mali) is a kora maestro, Driss El Maloumi (Morocco) is an ud virtuoso and Rajery (Madagascar) is the leading valiha player in his country.

The rest of the January 2018 chart

2. Boubacar Traoré – Dounia Tabolo- Lusafrica

3. Efrén López, Stelios Petrakis, Bijan Chemirani – Taos – Buda Musique

4. Saz’iso – At Least Wave Your Handkerchief at Me: The Joys and Sorrows of Southern Albanian Song – Glitterbeat

5. Kapela Maliszów – Wiejski Dżez – Unzipped Fly

6. BKO – Mali Foli Coura – Buda Musique

7. Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet – Ladilikan – World Circuit

8. Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino – Canzoniere – Ponderosa Music

9. Anouar Brahem – Blue Maqams – ECM

10. Maya Youssef – Syrian Dreams – Harmonia Mundi

11. WoWaKin – Kraj za Miastem – WoWaKin

12. Saeid Shanbehzadeh – Pour-Afrigha – Buda Musique

13. Júlio Pereira – Praça do Comércio – Tradisom

14. Ross Daly & Kelly Thoma – Lunar – Labyrinth

15. Raúl Rodríguez – La Raíz Eléctrica – Fol Música

16. Lankum – Between the Earth and Sky – Rough Trade

17. TootArd – Laissez Passer – Glitterbeat

18. Jivan Gasparyan Duduk Ensemble – Yeraz – Buda Musique

19. Khalid Kouhen & Marylène Ingremeau – Sillage – Ouï-Dire / UVM

20. V.A. – Mista Savona Presents: Havana Meets Kingston – Baco Records / VP Records

For more information go to www.transglobalwmc.com