Toko Telo (Madagascar)
Following up on a highly acclaimed first album, this Malagasy supergroup interprets traditional musical styles – tsapiky, jihe, beko – with unequaled artistry.
Madagascar’s most well known guitarist, D’Gary splashed onto the world music scene in the early 90s in a famous collaboration with musician/producers David Lindley and Henry Kaiser. More recently, D’Gary toured North America with the International Guitar Night ensemble and recorded the International Guitar Night II live album with Brian Gore, Miguel de la Bastide and Clive Carroll. D’Gary subsequently toured the US with banjo legend Bela Fleck.
Celebrated across Madagascar as the national diva, Monika Njava sang lead in the prize-winning group Njava, recording two critically acclaimed albums for EMI. She has recorded with platinum-selling Deep Forest and tours with the band. In 2012 she released a solo world-pop album, Haizina, with musicians from three continents. Always exploring new musical territory, in 2014 she recorded Island Jazz with bass virtuoso Linley Marthe, an album fusing traditional Malagasy music and contemporary jazz. Singing in several Malagasy dialects, Monika draws on folktales and everyday village life for her lyrics. She also addresses contemporary themes, such as corruption and environmental devastation.
Guitarist, lyricist, composer and arranger, Joël Rabesolo grew up playing the traditional four-stringed kabosy. Now the most celebrated guitarist of his generation in Madagascar, he plays with a deep knowledge of the island’s rich array of regional styles, which he interprets with sophistication and extraordinary imagination. Admitted into the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in 2015, he was quickly invited by the head of the jazz guitar department to form a recording and performing duo. Joël has worked closely with Monika Njava since 2012, and has played with a number of international musicians, including the world-famous bassist Linley Marthe.
“Sublime.” Angel Romero, World Music Central.org
“A really enjoyable experience.” Vic Smith, fRoots Magazine
- Monica Njava : voice, percussion
- D’Gary : guitar, voice
- Joël Rabesolo : guitar, voice, percussion