Malka and Joso

Malka and Joso, folksingers, active 1963-67. Malka Himel (born 21 January 1936 in Kfar-Saba, Israel) and Joso Spralja (born 23 May 1929 in Zadar, Yugoslavia; died 8 August 2017 in Zadar, Croatia).

Malka moved to Toronto in 1954, Joso in 1961. Both studied there with Nellie Horvath. They met at the coffeehouse known as Yorkville 71 where Joso was singing and, after Malka had taught him various songs, made their debut together 1 Apr 1963 at the Lord Simcoe Hotel. They appeared at the 1963 Mariposa Folk Festival, continued to sing in Toronto folk and supper clubs and in 1965 toured western Canada and the Yukon for Overture Concerts. In 1966, they were hosts for the ​CBC-TV series A Wonderful World of Music and sang 26 November at Carnegie Hall, New York. They performed in 1967 in England. 

Malka and Joso made three LPs for Capitol: Introducing Malka and Joso (ST-6108), Mostly Love Songs (ST-6129), and Jewish Songs (ST-6169). A fourth, Malka et Joso - Autour du monde (ST-70.007), comprised selections from the other three. After 1967, Malka and Joso each pursued solo careers. Joso subsequently became a noted Toronto restaurateur and Malka turned to CBC radio work; her four-part documentary, A Bite of the Big Apple (about the Broadway run of Kronborg: 1582 ), won an ​ACTRA Award in 1977.


Further Reading

  • Franklin, Stephen. 'Two at the top,' Weekend Magazine, 15 Jan 1966

    'The remaking of Malka,' Star Weekly, 25 May 1968

    Holtz, Patricia. 'Malka's mission,' The Canadian, 12 Feb 1977

    Livingstone, David. 'The Malka mystique,' Toronto Star, The City, 20 May 1979