News & Concerts

TWMC 2017 Top 100: Toy Raha Toy at #7!

Every December the Transglobal World Music Chart (TWMC) publishes its picks for the best 100 world music releases of the previous 12 months. This year’s list placed Toko Telo’s debut album Toy Raha Toy in the top ten at #7.

In August it leapt to #1, holding on to the #2 spot the following month before slipping back to #6 in October. In total, Toy Raha Toy remained in the TWMC top 40 for five months.

Anio Records thanks all the TWMC members – renowned world music specialists from around the world – for their support during 2017.


Global Village Top 40 Albums: Toy Raha Toy #1

On August 1 Toy Raha Toy hit the #1 spot on the Global Village Top 40 Albums For July 2017. Global Village is broadcast weeknights on KMUW-FM, based in Wichita, Kansas. Hosted by the celebrated DJ Chris Heim, it features a wide range of world music.

The program is distributed through the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) to over 330 stations in 41 US states and Canada, Cambodia, Mexico and New Zealand. Winner of multiple prizes, Global Village was named the #1 Most Licensed Series in the 2017 PRX Zeitfunk Awards, while KMUW was named the #1 Most Licensed Station.

TWMC #1: Toy Raha Toy

After only one month on the Transglobal World Music Chart, Toy Raha Toy, the debut album by Toko Telo, shot up to #1. The latest ranking, a compilation of votes submitted by an international network of respected names in world-music radio and journalism, was published on August 1st.

Anio Records sends a huge thank you to the members of the TWMC for their votes.

Toy Raha Toy on NPR

“These three artists are deeply in sync. And with Toy Raha Toy, they’ve created perhaps the best introduction yet to Madagascar’s utterly alluring folk music.”

On Monday, July 24th Toko Telo hit the airwaves big time on National Public Radio’s program All Things Considered. Host Kelly McEvers invited Banning Eyre of Afropop Worldwide to play excerpts from Toy Raha Toy and talk about the album and the artists within the context of Malagasy music. On the air since 1971, All Things Considered is broadcast five days a week on more than 500 radio stations. Its average daily listener numbers have reached 12 million.


Toy Raha Toy enters TWMC at #6

The Transglobal World Music Chart (TWMC) was founded by a group of renowned world music critics to spread awareness of the best world-music productions.

Each month the members vote freely for their favorite albums among the latest music releases. Their criteria? Merit and talent rather than popularity, big productions and record sales. The votes are then compiled into a chart of the highest-rated albums.

Competing against submissions that had already been climbing the list for up to three months, Toy Raha Toy entered straight into the July chart at spot #6. Anio Records thanks the TWMC members for their support.

Toy Raha Toy: the debut album by Toko Telo

Toy Raha ToyAnio Records is pleased to announce the release of the first album by Malagasy supergroup Toko Telo: D’Gary, Monika Njava & Régis Gizavo. The recording largely took place on location in Tolaria, the southwestern city where the three artists passed their formative years. The music is thus infused with the unique landscape and culture of this remarkable region.

The compositions by all three artists chronicle the experiences of ordinary people. The title track, Toy Raha Toy, takes its name from an everyday expression meaning, “Here it is.” But here the phrase takes a lascivious twist as a provocative women pokes fun at her shy victim. Other lyrics describe the menace of cattle rustlers, the dreams and disappointments of peasant women, and the existential threat posed by environmental destruction.

Toy Raha Toy is being distributed by Xango Music.

New Toko Telo video: Relaza

Video shoot Tuléar

Shot on location in Toliara, the clip brings D’Gary, Monika Njava and Régis Gizavo back to their roots. The southwestern seaport – far from the national capital and with its own exuberant style – looks out over the Mozambique Channel towards the African continent. The place the members of Toko Telo launched their musical careers, it’s no wonder the city has left a powerful imprint on their distinctive artistic personalities.

The song tells of Relaza, number eight of 15 children. Unfortunately for him, the word for this numeral in Malagasy has another, unrelated meaning: enemy. Don’t judge the boy by this, the lyrics urge. “Eighth” Relaza may be, but in fact he’s very nice. As it happens, Régis, the song’s composer, is also the eighth child from a very large family.

Island Jazz: hot summer shows

© Frans Schneider

Listeners in three new countries got achance to hear the unique and exciting sound of Island Jazz this summer. Warming up audiences in the cool climate of Northern Europe with equatorial Malagasy fire, the quartet played blazing-hot shows at Music Meeting (Netherlands), the Urkult Festival (Sweden) and Tivoli Gardens (Denmark).

Turning 30 this year Music Meeting was picked as one of the 25 best international music festivals by leading music magazine Songlines. The Urkult Festival, running since 1995,  attracts 8,000 people to its setting of forests, rivers and hills. By contrast, Tivoli Gardens, opened in 1843, is in the heart of bustling Copenhagen. It receives 5 million visitors a year.

Island Jazz live: new videos!

Don't mean video thumb


Island Jazz in Sibiu

Sibiu Jazz Festival

“Island Jazz closed this year’s edition of Sibiu Jazz Festival wonderfully.” That was how the organizers of this international event summed up the group’s performance. The festival has taken place every year since 1977 in one of Romania’s most important cultural cities, designated a European Capital of Culture in 2007. Following the evening show at the elegant 18th Century Thalia concert hall, the band relocated to thrill the Sibiu crowd with an after-hours jam session.

Linley Marthe “No. 1”

Linley Marthe - Jazz Dunyasi

In the artistic domain, “world’s best” discussions always have a subjective element. So for more objective judgements we turn to authorities, especially journalists and peers. Look no further than the cover of the spring/summer issue of Jazz Dunyasi. It shows a photo of Linley Marthe along with the caption “Bassist No. 1”.

Leyla Afandiyeva, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, is not the only person to assert this. No less an authority than Joe Zawinul thought so too. Despite a reputation for frequently changing rhythm sections, Zawinul held onto Linley from 2003 through his last tour, shortly before his death in 2007.

No 1 at JazzAhead - 2

Jazz came to Azerbaijan early in the 20th century – and stayed. Leyla saw Linley when The Joe Zawinul Syndicate performed at the Baku Jazz Festival in 2005. He’s been a regular visitor ever since. She says, “I remember Zawinul’s musicians looking through a copy of the magazine and exclaiming: ‘Wow! You have your own magazine!’”. The latest issue, filled with jazz news and reviews, featured prominently at this year’s JazzAhead, an official partner of the publication.

Linley Marthe was also mentioned in Bass Musician Magazine, an online monthly based on the other wise of the world in the US. Founded in 2007 for bass musicians and industry professionals, it has become among the most widely read bass publications online.

Island Jazz at JazzAhead 2015

IJ new group photo.indd

Island Jazz on German radio

Monika Njava & Linley Marthe 2

Madagascar was the focus of a broadcast by Bavarian Radio, part of a weekly series exploring world music. Highlighting the island’s traditional and current sounds, the program featured live recordings of Island Jazz made by German radio during the band’s tour last summer, as well as an interview with Monika Njava. She explained the unique way Island Jazz combines traditional and contemporary musical styles, and discussed how she uses her music as a force for political change in her country.

Island Jazz at Bezau Beatz Festival

Kultur – Zeitschrift für Kultur und Gesellschaft   09.08.2014

Peter Füssl

Monika Njava – pure emotion!Bezau review photo

Monika Njava is Madagascar’s national diva and with her sizzling blend of African, rock, jazz and funk, she raised a storm in the old depot building of the Bregenz Forest Railway. Her powerful voice and explosive presence radiate pure emotion as she expresses joy and sorrow in different Malagasy dialects, engaging in a wonderful duel with guitarist and compatriot Joël Rabesolo, whose dexterous playing ranges from hard rock to startlingly unconventional.

The line-up is called Island Jazz because all its members come from islands. On this occasion the more subtle jazz ingredients were sacrificed in favour of a powerful, stirring, gut-wrenching performance. It was a case of maximum sound rather than fine nuance, but always a musical experience, and one that made its full impact in the ambience of the railway depot.

Island Jazz album

What do fans say?

Quelle énergie dans ce magnifique disque. Des musiciens admirables. Monika Njava est extra. Et que dire de Linley Marthe, ce bassiste prodigieux, qui nous montre encore une fois la pertinence de ses expériences musicales.
5-star Amazon FR

This album is a highly-anticipated return of bass virtuoso Linley Marthe…Zawinul’s comment regarding Marthe tells the story: “I don’t know if there is anybody who can touch him in terms of overall bass playing.”…I can honestly say that [Monika Njava] is probably the most powerful female vocalist alive today…I am blown away by guitarist Joël Rabesolo’s mastery of his instrument…VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
5-star CD Baby

Welcome to Island Jazz

Anio Records is pleased to announce the release of the debut album by Island Jazz featuring Monika Njava & Linley Marthe. The voyage to this destination has been a long and fascinating one – not surprising given the scope and ambition of this unique project.

Some attempts at mixing jazz and world music take the easy route of adding a bit of exotic landscaping to well-trodden terrain. Island Jazz, by contrast, has deliberately veered off the musical map. Guided by a strong sense of direction and extraordinary playing the group succeeded in making landfall on undiscovered territory, lush with indigenous musical species.

Island & jazz

Welcome to Island Jazz. Keep an ear out for the antsa sung by Masikoro women in the cotton fields north of Tuléar, southern beko from the Antandroy people around Fort Dauphin, and operette from Antananarivo. Each song tells a story: a spurned king, a flock of jealous birds, a woman’s secret. The crimes of colonial rule. Nostalgia for a lost golden childhood.

Listen further: to the way traditional melodies sit atop modern harmony, and irresistible rhythms like tsapiky and jihe are fashioned into contemporary forms with surprising twists and turns. You’ll even encounter an iconic jazz standard – but not as you know it. And get ready to be blown away by virtuosic improvisation from some of the most inventive musicians on the planet.

Check out the song extracts for a taste of the musical treasures that await you on Island Jazz.

Island Jazz offers a wide range of color, fusing the traditional songs of southern Madagascar and modern jazz. Based on the spirit of jazz, the singer and her musicians concoct a musical treasure.
La Vérité

Retsivere sounds masterful. You fully sense its roots in the soil, while the vocal line turns it toward modernity.
L’Express de Madagascar



29.04.2018 Toko Telo Performing Arts Centre Lincoln, UK
27.04.2018 Toko Telo Pontio Bangor, UK
26.04.2018 Toko Telo Junction Cambridge, UK
24.04.2018 Toko Telo Rich Mix London, UK
23.04.2018 Toko Telo The Apex Bury St Edmunds, UK
21.04.2018 Toko Telo Sage Gateshead Gateshead, UK
20.04.2018 Toko Telo NCEM York, UK
19.04.2018 Toko Telo University of Sheffield Sheffield, UK
18.04.2018 Toko Telo The Stables Milton Keynes, UK
17.04.2018 Toko Telo Colston Hall Bristol, UK
14.04.2018 Toko Telo Muziekpublique Brussels, BE
13.04.2018 Toko Telo Meck à Frick Frick, CH
11.04.2018 Toko Telo Stansermusiktage Stans, CH
22.12.2017 Toko Telo Studio Arena Ivandry Antananarivo, MG
15.12.2017 Monika Njava with Njava Institut Français Antananarivo, MG
30.07.2017 Toko Telo Sfinks Festival Boechout, BE
29.07.2017 Toko Telo WOMAD UK Charlton Park, UK
22.07.2017 Toko Telo Welcome to the Village Leeuwarden, NL
18.06.2017 Toko Telo Houtfestival Haarlem, NL
17.06.2017 Toko Telo Festival Rio Loco Toulouse, FR
25.05.2017 Monika Njava Nuit Voix des Femmes Mayotte, FR
20.05.2017 Monika Njava Saison Jazz Festival Mayotte, FR
14.04.2017 Monika Njava La Palette Antsirabe, MG
31.03.2017 Monika Njava CCI Ivato Antananarivo, MG
8.08.2016 Island Jazz Tivoli Copenhagen, DK
5.08.2016 Island Jazz Urkult Festival Näsåker, SE
16.05.2016 Island Jazz Music Meeting Nijmegen, NL
25.03.2016 Monika Njava Alliance Française Tamatave, MG
11.02.2016 Monika Njava KUDéTA Antananarivo, MG
24.12.2015 Monika Njava Neptune Tamatave, MG
19.12.2015 Monika Njava Dôme RTA Antananarivo, MG
25.10.2015 Island Jazz Sibiu Jazz Festival Sibiu, RO
20.08.2015 Island Jazz Jazz Night Zug, CH
7.08.2015 Island Jazz Foen-X Bregenz, AT
26.06.2015 Island Jazz Festival im Schlosshof Leipheim, DE
10.04.2015 Monika Njava Café de la Gare Antananarivo, MG
27.03.2015 Monika Njava Biso na Biso Antananarivo, MG
21.03.2015 Monika Njava Etoile de Mer Toliara, MG
20.03.2015 Monika Njava Vakok’Arts Toliara, MG
8.03.2015 Monika Njava Intl. Women’s Day Toliara, MG
27.02.2015 Monika Njava Alliance Française Tamatave, MG
13.02.2015 Monika Njava Trass Antananarivo, MG
26-27.10.14 Monika Njava with Deep Forest Santiago, CL
29.09.2014 Island Jazz Sunset Paris, FR
8.08.2014 Island Jazz Bezau Beatz Bezau, AT
6.08.2014 Island Jazz Festival Hafensommer Würzburg, DE
2.08.2014 Island Jazz Bardentreffen Nürnberg, DE
27.07.2014 Island Jazz St. Georgen swingt Bayeuth, DE
26.07.2014 Island Jazz Jazz & Weltmusik Ehrenhof Düsseldorf, DE
17.07.2014 Island Jazz Archiduc Brussels, BE
3.04.2014 Monika Njava with Deep Forest Moscow, RU


IWD: singing out, speaking out

Monika & Bodo

Rocking Tamatave

Tamatave 1 long


Monika Njava with Theo “Mikéa”

M&T close 2


Monika Njava in Santiago, Chile with Deep Forest


Afropop radio interview: Monika Njava