Percussionist and vocalist Monika Njava grew up on the island of Madagascar in the southwest port of Morondava.
Celebrated across Madagascar as a national diva, Monika Njava was a lead singer in the award-winning group Njava, recording two critically acclaimed albums for EMI’s Hemispheres label.
She has recorded with best-selling act 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. Island Jazz mixes traditional Malagasy music and contemporary jazz.
Monika sings in several Malagasy dialects. She 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.
She is a member of the highly-respected supergroup Toko Telo. Her colleagues are two of Madagascar’s finest musicians: D’Gary and Régis Gizavo.
From South Madagascar, with Njava (Sushi Records, 1997) Vetse , with Njava (EMI Hemisphere, 1999) Source, with Njava (EMI Hemisphere, 2001) Haizina ( Anio Records, 2012) Island Jazz ( Anio Records, 2014) Toy Raha Toy, with Toko Telo (Anio Records, 2017) Diavola, with Toko Telo (Anio Records, 2018)
The World Music Institute (WMI) has announced the set of global artists set to perform in New York City during the Fall/Winter 2019-2020 Season. Selected by new Artistic Director Brian Keigher, WMI’s 2019-2020 Season includes world music artists from 15 cultures including five New York City debuts: Finland’s Kardemimmit, Ethiopia’s Girma Bèyènè with French band Akalé Wubé, Cape Verde’s Lucibela, Madagascar’s Toko Telo, and France’s The Bongo Hop.
New venue partnerships include Chelsea Music Hall, Mercury Lounge, and The Sultan Room, with established venues such as Symphony Space, (le) poisson rouge, Littlefield, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, and Storm King Art Center remaining as program partners.
Toy Raha Toy, the debut recording by Malagasy superband Toko Telo is the number one album in the Transglobal World Music Chart for August 2017. The trio includes guitarist and vocalist D’Gary, vocalist and percussionist Monika Njava and accordionist and vocalist Régis Gizavo.
This was Règis Gizavo’s final album. He died on July 16, 2017.
Toko Telo is a world music supergroup that brings together three of the finest and best-known Malagasy artists. The lineup includes guitar virtuoso and vocalist D’Gary (Ernest Randrianasolo), vocalist and percussionist Monika Njava voice & percussion; and accordionist and vocalist Régis Gizavo.
The trio delivers masterful performances showcasing their talent in a set of original songs by D’Gary, Régis Gizavo and other songwriters. You’ll find fiery guitar and accordion pieces, along with beautiful laid back songs.
Sadly, Règis Gizavo died on July 16, 2017. Toko Telo have decided to continue to perform in his honor.
Toy Raha Toy is an impeccable album representing music rooted in the traditions of southern Madagascar, performed by three world class musicians.