An intimate live session with two of the members of Madagascar’s super-group, Toko Telo: Monka Njavaa and Joël Rabesolo.
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.