Donné Roberts

Donné Roberts

BandWorldSinger/Songwriter

We play Malagsy Soul. It is happy music with positive energy which has eclectic influences: African and Malagasy grooves, Russian folk, blazing Hendrix, funky Motown and the chanting of both Malagsy and North American ancestrial music which is remarkably similar.

Biography

Donné Roberts
Juno Award Winner 2005 and Juno Award Nominee 2007.
Member of African Guitar Summit / performed at Live Aid 2005

If the immortal sounds of Fela Kuti, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Peter Gabriel and Richie Havens were to come together as one, their torchbearer might very well be Madagascar-born, Russian-raised and now Toronto-based guitarist Donné Roberts. Effortlessly combining polyrhythmic African and European folk & groove and blazing North American funk, rock and blues influences, Roberts and his 5- or 6-piece band deliver a remarkably diverse, infectiously joyful and utterly unique live music experience.
His full name, Dieudonné (Dieudonné Roberts), means “God-given”, and Roberts’ natural talents are obviously that to anyone who hears him play. His gifts have been shaped by an eclectic and courageous set of life experiences. He was born on the legendary island of Madagascar, and moved with his diplomat parents to Russia at age 7 where he would live for the next two decades. In 1997, Roberts produced Mama Africa, one of the largest and most important African festivals in the history of Russian culture. The following year, he became the first African to host a show on MTV Russia, the hour-long program Mambassa. Also in 1998, he was chosen to organize backup vocalists for a tour with Swedish pop legends Ace of Base.
In 1999, this most cosmopolitan of artists came to call Canada home. He quickly established a reputation in Toronto’s thriving world-music community. In 2003, he was invited to be part of African Guitar Summit, the groundbreaking collaboration of Canada’s finest African-born musicians; conceived by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) producer Todd Fraracci. African Guitar Summit would go on to win the 2005 Juno Award, Canada’s highest distinction, for Best World Music Album; and the band received the honour of performing at the Live 8 concert at Park Place in Barrie, Ontario. African Guitar Summit II was released to critical acclaim in September of 2006. Amongst this supremely-talented collective, it is Roberts who is seen by many knowledgeable listeners as having the greatest potential appeal amongst the widest range of audiences, outside the African and world-music scenes.
His first solo album, Rhythm Was Born (released in February 2006 at Toronto’s foremost world-music venue Harbourfront Centre) is testament to those possibilities, a 10-song journey of songs inspired from his homeland that frequently venture into North American and European rock, funk & blues territory. Roberts’ original music and live performances continue to evolve more in this cosmopolitan groove direction. His stellar band is also comprised of: Celina Carroll (vocals and percussion), Kofi Ackah (drum kit and vocals), Kwanza Msingwana (percussion), Tom Sertsis and Ebenezer Agyekum (electric basses), and Paul Lamoureux (vocals, keyboard, saxophone and flute). Together, they have toured across the United States and Canada, including: (Montreal International Jazz Festival, Dawson City Music Festival, Harbourfront Centre, Dundas Square Toronto etc.). Roberts is also gearing up to reveal yet another side of his dynamic musical character to worldwide audiences – a solo guitar-and-electronica performance that can also integrate a percussionist.
This is a man to whom Rhythm was indeed Born. And it seems clear that his already remarkable journey and career are about to take on a new life of their own.

Donné Roberts on the Web:
www.donneroberts.com
www.myspace.com/donneroberts

Lyrics

Malembo

Written By: Donné Roberts

Malembo no namako hatry izay
Dia mifanaja koa izahay
Miara miaritra ny mafy
Miara mifaly hiany koa

Satria I Malembo, mafantatra ny heta heta mpoko
Izaho kosa manao izao rehetra izay, mba hamaly faly anao

Arovy izahay Andriamanitra ny fitiavana
Tsofy rano izahay mba tsy tafiitohina

Translation in English
This song is about respect to women as mothers, sisters, wives and friends, and how women are able to sacrifice themselves when they love. Malembo is my best friend.

Misaotra Anao izahay ry Andriamanitra ny fitiavana
Misaotra Anao izaho sy Malembo

My friend Malembo
My friend Malembo
My friend Malembo
My friend Malembo

Miankany koa izahay indray indray
Fomba njavatra io eh,
Tsimaintsy mandefitra ny iray
Dia misava sava hoazy eo eh,

Discography

"Moli" - released in 1999; recorded at Red Rose Studio in Moscow Russia
"Rhythm Was Born" - released in 2006; recorded at CBC Studio 211 in Toronto Canada

Set List

Set list for 2 hours - all songs are originals

1. MALEMBO
2. ZHENG ZUA
3. RHYTHM WAS BORN
4. MAHEREZA
5. HIRA ‘N’ TAOLO
6. NANDEHA IZAHAY HOMALY
7. FEO MANGA
8. WENGUE YONGO
9. SAM MENGA @ INGANY
10. VOROMAILALA
11. RAHA TIA RAHA KA TIA
12. MALAHELO
13. ARIENGUE
14. SADEBAKE
15. TSY RADADA
16. EH ATSIA !