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Ti Frere "King of the Sega"

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Ti Frere Serge Lebrasse Cassiya

Jean Alphonse Ravaton, alias Ti Frere, was born in Quartier Militaire on April 29th, 1900. His father was Madagascan ( Ravaton is a Madagascan surname) and a sega artist too, the art form being characteristically passed on from father to son, and groups often made up of members of the same family.
A coachman to a well-to-do-family, his father not only performed the sega but also conducted a dance band, the kind prolific at the time with accordion, banjo, percussion, and sometimes violin. Such orchestras performed European dance repertoire like the "cottish", "mazok", "lavalse" and "quadrilles", dances which, although they have disappeared in Mauritius, are still popular on Rodrigues, the neighbouring island.



Ti Frere learnt to sing the sega and ballads too through accompanying his father. Later he would sing with his own dance band, playing especially for " zarico" (z’haricot) (bean) dances. "Zarico" dances were Saturday night country affairs put on in the courtyards of homes and during which a cake containing a bean was shared out: whoever got the bean had to put on the next Saturday’s dance. These dances would always finish with a few segas, something that still happens today at marriages or parties and that harkens back to the time when the sega, frowned upon and sometimes forbidden, was only danced as the night would close and restrictions eased up a little.

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De son vrais nom Alphonse Ravaton, Ti frère est né au début du siècle. Tous les Mauriciens le reconnaissent comme étant 'le roi du Séga' Cet homme né à Quartier Militaire représente à lui seul l'âme du Séga. Décrire Ti frère n'est point chose facile. Il est à l'origine de la popularité des Ségas typiques, ségas interprètés avec ravannes, maravanne et triangle.

Ti Frère était illettrè, mais était capable d'improviser une chanson à la moindre demande. Des titres tels que Roseda, Anita ou encore Papitou resteront de grands classiques de la musique Mauricienne.

Cet homme resté simple et sans prétentions fût fort heureusement récompensé pour son talent. Il fût décoré du MBE (Member of the British Empire) pour services rendu à l'art. Radio France lui consacra une compilation sur compacte disque dans la collection Ocara.

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Sa voix est incomparable et les Mauriciens ont l'habitude de l'appeler Le chanteur à la voix cassée. Il mourrut en 1992 et c'est non seulement L'Ile Maurice qui le pleura mais également l'ensemble des iles de l'océan indien.

Quelques Clips de TiFrere - Sound Clips from TiFrere
MP3

Felicia 
Anita
Angeline 
Roseda
Ti Pierre Ti Paul
Noir noir 
Colere prend moi 

Charlie O

Links / Liens
Ti Frere "King of the Sega" (Clancy Philippe)
Ti-frère : figure mythique du séga mauricien
Hommage à Ti-Frère - Musiques d'Afrique : Ile Maurice

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