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The University of Southampton

A galaxy of stars brings the magic of Madagascar to Southampton

Published: 22 May 2012Origin: Modern Languages and Linguistics
The Madagascar All Stars

Vibrant music from an island in the Indian Ocean will help to start the weekend in style on Friday 8 June when the Madagascar All Stars play the Turner Sims concert hall in Southampton.

Leading Malagasy musicians, each one famous in his own right, have got together to bring us an evening of memorable music in Viva Madagascar. Their music has been described as a stunning fusion of traditional and contemporary sounds, global percussive styles and richly varied harmonies, expressing their unique cultures with passion and intensity.

The Madagascar All Stars have already won critical acclaim from the UK world music magazine Songlines and will also play in London on 9 June as part of the Songlines Encounters Festival. The concerts are supported by the University of Southampton’s TNMundi project.

Professor Ulrike Meinhof from the University of Southampton’s Centre for Transnational Studies has worked with the Madagascar All Stars and several other French-speaking musicians who now live in Europe as part of her three year research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Ulrike’s team at Southampton, along with Dr Nadia Kiwan at the University of Aberdeen, have been looking at the transnational cultural networks formed by musicians, the media and others in the music business. Their work has also involved artists from North Africa, who now largely live in Paris.

“Musicians of all backgrounds have always sought out one another, forming
networks with other musicians and artists, and with their audiences,” she says. “At the same time, artistic creativity allows people of all kinds to not only celebrate but also critically view their histories and the conditions of modern life. Artists’ voices persuade by creative power and can stimulate pleasure as well as thought and critical reflection.”

Malagasy musician, sociologist and politician Dama Mahaleo was a key member of TNMundi. He leads the island’s most famous group, the Mahaleo, which was formed 40 years ago during political turmoil following French decolonisation and encouraged fellow singer-songwriters from different regions of Madagascar to join the All Stars. As part of the project, Ulrike has encouraged the musicians to play in Europe where they have performed at many festivals;

For further information on the Viva Madagascar event at the Turner Sims, Southampton or to book tickets please visit

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