Dominica’s musical ambassador, Michele Henderson, is one of several French and Creole singers featured on a compilation album by Martinican group Malavoi. She is the only singer on the album, who is from an English-speaking nation.
According to a press release, musical director of the group, Bernard Nicol, says the album is a sequel to the group’s 90s project ‘Matebis’ which featured traditional music of Martinique, arranged with different voices. And with this new album ‘Oliwon’, a Creole expression meaning "around”, we are saying that we are combining talent from around Martinique, the Region, and the world.”
Henderson joins Haiti’s Emeline Michele, La Reunion’s Oralne and Martinique’s Ralph Tamar, Kolo Barst, E.SyKennenga, J. Marie Ragald, Loriane Zacharie, Rony Théophile, Valerie Louri and Pipo Gertrude on the album titled Oliwon. Michele’s image is featured in the accompanying booklet with song lyrics.
Michele says she is honoured to have been invited to be part of this project, with a group she has admired from childhood, and she is excited at this latest development in her career. Formed in 1972, Malavoi’s musical style mixes French Antillean music with modern influences from across the Americas, (beguine, salsa and especially jazz). Their first album Malavoi was released in 1978. The group is still actively touring after 30 years in the industry.
She started with her 1995 Domfesta-winning composition, “My Pride,” but it is her Creole & French compositions that highlighted her talent. She has performed at several events in Martinique, Guadeloupe & France. To date she has released 6 albums: Michele Henderson (2000), Michele Henderson Creole Special Live (2001), Soundcheck (2002), Mwen Aime’w (2004), Sa Kai (2008), Home (Chez Moi) (2014).
Henderson says she is excited at this latest development in her career, and for the opportunity to work with such a musical institution. She said “I am honoured to have been invited to be part of this project. I have been a fan of Malavoi since childhood, so getting the chance to sing with them is a treasured opportunity”. In May 2015 both Henderson and Ralph Thamar, Malavoi’s lead singer, performed to rave reviews at Dominica’s Jazz ‘N Creole. This October, she will make her 8th appearance at the 2016 World Creole Music festival.
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