Malavoi is one of our favorite bands from Martinique. The ensemble formed in the early ’70s when four violinists merged with a rhythm section and set out to fuse African, Brazilian and Caribbean influences into a distinctly Martinican sound. The band’s name refers both a kind of sugarcane and a street on the Senegalese island of Gorée.
Malavoi’s arrival coincided with a moment in which the French West Indies was developing its own post-colonial political and cultural identity; its multi-layered, multifaceted music provided a soundtrack for this evolution. Whatever the moment, we love this performance of “Bona.”