GOODBYE Arts Council grant, farewell Making Tracks, the organisation that transported world music to a dozen British venues with a two-concerts-for-the-price-of-one progressive policy.

The National Centre for Early Music has been a pioneering participant in the scheme since 2010 and has consistently drawn diverse audiences, not least concert-goers who had never been to an NCEM performance previously. World music will remain on the NCEM map but the loss of Making Tracks is "a real pain for us and devastating for them", says NCEM director Delma Tomlin.

This uplifting concert series went out on a high last Friday a full house in rapt attendance for Malagasy-speaking supergroup Toko Telo, from Madagascar, on tour to promote their new album Diavola (Moon).

Their name translates as "group of three", and after the death of founder member Régis Gizavo last July, they have reconfigured with Joël Rabesolo, all Jimi Hendrix electric hair, lean legs and leaner fingers, as the new addition. His fretwork is a caress by comparison with Hendrix's fire, interweaving delightfully with fellow seated guitarist D'Gary's acoustic grace as they reinterpreted such southern island styles as tsapiky, jihe and beko.

Between them stood – or sometimes sat – Monika Njava, a wondrous, mature singer of great presence, soulful composure and dazzling technique, and an engaging hostess to boot, with her brief introduction to each song's theme, from a teenage girl dreaming of leaving her village for a more exciting life, to a full moon being a precious gift to a village without electricity.

And so the moon has waned and Making Tracks will make tracks no more, but thank you Joel, D'Gary and Monika for such a memorable finale.

York Press:

Mary Coughlan: "Melancholic, sensuous, blue-moon singing" 

Nothing would stop Mary Coughlan beating a path to one of the County Galway blues and jazz singer's favourite stages, Pocklington Arts Centre, the next night. Since her last show in these parts, a one-off detour to Selby in 2013, she has made an album of self-penned songs with Erik Visser, turned 60, had four stents inserted after a heart scare and seen off lung disease.

Coughlan tells flinty-witted yarns, she is warm and wise, she would be equally great on Question Time or Graham Norton's sofa, and she lived up to her belief that her melancholic, sensuous, blue-moon singing is better than ever, this time in the company of long-time guitarist Jimmy Smith, keyboards player Greg Fulton and bassist Barry Donohue.

She talked openly of her past battles with the bottle – she regularly lost but came back for more – before making the "saddest song of all" even sadder: Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart did indeed tear us apart, as she repeated the refrain "Love, love, love".

Coughlan poured all into a couple of heart-felt songs off 2015's Scars On The Calendar; recalled classic country duos when joined by support act Ultan Conlon, and seduced us once more on a blissful, blessed Saturday night.