Hip Deep in Madagascar: The Tsapiky Story

The southwest of Madagascar is a land of fishermen, mining prospectors and cattle ranchers—not exactly a homogenous region in terms of lifestyle or ethnicity. But one thing that unites all the people of this region is the giddy, electric guitar-driven boogie music known as tsapiky (pronounced tsa-PEEK). First created in the late 1970s, tsapiky has become the required music at large family ceremonies (circumcisions, weddings, and especially, funerals), where music and partying goes nonstop for three days or more. In this Hip Deep program, we unfold the unique origins of this music, and other traditional styles of southwest Madagascar. And we’ll meet some of tsapiky’s great guitar practitioners: Damily, Teta and Pascal. We’ll hear a song from Damily’s recent public concert in Tulear—his first in 14 years–and sample a variety of beautiful music from this remote and remarkable corner of Madagascar.