Toko Telo

Following up on a highly acclaimed first album, this Malagasy supergroup interprets traditional musical styles – tsapiky, jihe, beko – with unequalled artistry

D’Gary, guitar & voice

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. 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.

Monika Njava, voice & percussion

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 continues to tour 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 that fuses 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 affecting her country, such as corruption, environmental devastation, and the empowerment of women.

Joël Rabesolo, guitar, voice & percussion

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.

Live Dates

  • Venue Location

Photo: Fabien Ferrer

Photo: Fabien Ferrer

Photo: Lukas Seufert

Photo: Studio Smilebox

“They form the superbe trio Toko Telo” – Le Monde

“Their musical chemistry has the right blend of familiarity and otherness, of virtuosity and pop savvy, to be all but irresistible to nearly any listener” – Afropop Worldwide

“Subtiel en bijna onwerkelijk licht was de muziek van Toko Telo uit Madagaskar.” – Haarlems Dagblad

“All was bliss for two hours on Saturday night thanks to mellifluous music from Madagascar, produced by incredibly talented trio Toko Telo” – Hexham Courant

“The interlocking acoustic strings of the male maestros enthrall on a collection of excellent songs that, while contemporary, are rooted in the rich traditions of one of the world’s most intriguing island nations” – Rhythms

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