Musical Performance: Music From The Fringes Festival: Zanzibar, New York

Sat, April 12, 2008 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all musical performances »)

Sounds of Taraab

Alsarah, vocals
Ismail Butera, accordion & vocals
Haig Manoukian, oud
Michael Hess, violin & nai flute
Tiye Giraud, shekere, pandero, Madagascar reeds, udu pot, dumbek, vocals
Nicole Lecorgne, daff, riq, dumbek, bongos


A little over 100 years ago, the Sultan of Zanzibar sent his court musicians abroad to study. A lover of Arabic classical music, the Sultan desired his musicians to learn the maqamat, the complex system of modal structure found in the music of the Near East. Upon their return, these talented musicians applied and adapted what they learned to the musical traditions of the ethnically diverse population of Zanzibar. Taraab was born.

A hybrid of Arabic, Indian, and African musical styles, it's songs sung in Kiswahili, taraab soon became popular in the cosmopolitan trading towns of coastal East Africa such as Zanzibar, Mombasa, and Dar Es Salaam, each town boasting it's own distinctive musical style.

The Sounds of Taraab is a New York based ensemble made up of musicians from both the African and Near Eastern musical traditions who came together to explore and perform the music of this wonderful genre from East Africa.

Sounds Of Taraab have released their debut album Zanzibar, New York.

Last updated: 2008-04-09 14:36:18

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