Preserving the Essence of Zanzibar

Culture Musical Club - Shime!
Culture Musical Club – Shime!
Culture Musical Club

Shime! (World Village, 2009)

The first thing that you’ll notice when you see Culture Musical Club’s photos in the CD booklet is that it is a very large orchestra. The Zanzibar-based ensemble is not only the largest orchestra in the Tanzanian island, but it is also one of the leading Taarab ensembles. Culture Musical Club’s music brings together Arabic influences and the Swahili beats from mainland Africa.

Culture Musical Club was originally called Shime Kuokoana which translates as ‘a call to preserve something which is about to be lost’. Thus the title of the new album, Shime!. Throughout the years Culture Musical Club has toured the globe, taking taarab music to audiences in Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Arab Emirates and Reunion.

The orchestra’s director is accordionist and composer Said Mwinyi. On Shime! you can hear the elaborate weaving of his accordion melodies with the masterful sounds of the qanun, ud and violin, accompanied by a delicious mambo-like beat.

Culture Musical Club‘s taarab is inspiringly detailed and will serve as an excellent introduction to the mesmerizing sounds of Zanzibar.

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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