Three of the most recognized folk artists from the island of Madagascar came together to form a trio called Toko Telo.
D'Gary, guitar & voice
"A monster guitarist!" David Lindley
Madagascar’s most well known musician, D’Gary splashed onto the world music scene in the early 90s in a famous collaboration with musician/producers David Lindley and Henry Kaiser. Their album, A World Out Of Time, featured D’Gary’s extraordinary, open-tuning playing style developed from traditional instrumental techniques. “I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears,” recounted Kaiser later. A string of international recording projects and concerts followed including tours with the International Guitar Night ensemble, Miguel de la Bastide, Clive Carroll and banjo legend Bela Fleck.
Monika Njava, voice & percussion
“The voice of Madagascar.” Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide
Celebrated across Madagascar as the national diva, Monika Njava sang lead with Njava, recording two critically acclaimed albums for EMI. She has recorded with platinum-selling Deep Forest and continues to perform with the band. A solo world-pop album, Haizina, featured musicians from three continents. Always exploring new musical territory, she formed the group Island Jazz with bass virtuoso Linley Marthe, 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 challenges facing her country: corruption, environmental devastation, and empowering women.
Joël Rabesolo, guitar & voice “Startlingly unconventional.” Zeitschrift für Kultur und Gesellschaft Joël Rabesolo grew up playing the traditional four-stringed kabosy. Now the most celebrated guitarist of his generation in Madagascar, he interprets the island’s rich array of regional styles with sophistication and extraordinary inventiveness. Admitted into the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, he was promptly invited by his guitar professor to form a jazz duo. Working closely with Monika Njava since 2012, Joël is a member of her band Island Jazz. He also records and tours as part of Malagasy Guitar Masters.Back to Events