KITHARA
Zanzibar, 10 musicians
THE STARS OF CULTURE MUSICAL CLUB



Rajab Suleiman was trained to play the oriental kanun zither at the Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar, which was its roots in the independence struggle of the 1950s and has become one of the most influential taarab orchestras. "Electro-taarab" can be heard in the alleys of Zanzibar, while the traditional acoustic style is played at weddings. Suleiman was able to secure the services of Saada Nassor and Makame Faki, two of the leading singers of this lyrical-ornamental style, for his own orchestra, Kithara.
Here is taarab in its original beauty – delicate poetry, outstanding vocal performances, which reveal in their elaborate ornamentation the close connection to their Arabic roots, and finely chiseled instrumentals.
Its location in the“Black Indian Ocean” on the ancient trading routes used by Arabs and Indians along the east coast of Africa made Zanzibar the epicenter of Muslim Swahili culture. Taarab – Arabic for "joy through music" – provides the soundtrack: with Indian harmonium and kanun, violins, oud and ney flute.