Etienne "Bamboul" Ramboatiana

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The music of Madagascar was ushered into the modern era by such performers as Etienne Ramboatiana. Affectionately known as Bamboul, Ramboatiana was the first musician to own an electric guitar in the…
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The music of Madagascar was ushered into the modern era by such performers as Etienne Ramboatiana. Affectionately known as Bamboul, Ramboatiana was the first musician to own an electric guitar in the Madagascan village of Antananarivo.

Initially taught to play violin at the age of eight by an uncle, Ramboatiana switched to keyboards four years later. Advancing quickly on the instrument, he became the organist at Andohalo Cathedral at the age of 18. He left the position to work in a music store.

An extended night club stint with Odiam Rakoto exposed Ramboatiana to Madagascan folklore and traditional music. He later played with Naly Rakotofiringa and recorded with Ramamy Malagasy. Between 1958 and 1965, he toured Africa and India with a circus band.