Madagascar Slim

Madagascar Slim

Randriamananjara Radofa Besata Jean Longin, aka Madagascar Slim, went to a Quebec missionary high school that eventually led his parents to send him to study accounting in the cold foreign land of Canada. Student protests and turbulence were behind Slim when he met his wife to be Cathy St. Cyr where he performed in the Quebec chanson troupe Tiguidou. Later on Chicago Blues Standards, vamped out at Toronto's dingy blues dive Grossman's Tavern, were part of Slim's training with Steven C and the Red Rockets.

Curious to see the first Canadian appearances of Tao Ravao and Tarika playing Malagasy blues and roots music, Slim became enamored (or possessed?) with his own identity. Slim was fascinated that Malagasy musicians were evolving tradition, and he wanted to be part of that evolution.

Slim's first Malagasy-inspired public appearance followed at the Bamboo Club playing totally acoustic repertoire squeezed between The Downchild Blues Band and The Afronubians. He opened up for Ali Farka Toure in a full-on afro-blues band in front of five thousand people in 1995. The new fusion work was captured in the World Music Juno Award for OmniSource in 1998 and was followed with Juno Awards for his collaboration with Bill Bourne and Lester Quitzau (aka TriContinental) and CBC Records' African Guitar Summit.

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