Artist Profiles: Nadi Ikhwani Safaa

Founded in 1950, the Nadi Ikhwani Safaa orchestra can probably trace its roots back further than any other orchestra in Africa. Every known musician from Zanzibar has at some point or other performed or played with “Malindi” (as they are also affectionately known) and recently they enjoyed a strong revival in popularity with the local population.

This gathering of hobby musicians from all walks of life plays taarab in its original beauty – delicate poetry outstanding vocal performances that reveal in their elaborate ornamentation the close connection to their Arabic roots and finely chiseled instrumentals.

Love, companionship, friendship, the enjoyment of music, the pains of sadness, all find expression in the moving performances and the sweet sounds of their orchestral arrangements. Maalim Iddi Farhan one of their oldest and most respected members summed it up: “…It goes to the mind and then to the heart and to the blood and you feel happy at the end.”


Music of Zanzibar Vol 2 : Ikhwani Safaa Musical Club (Globestyle 1988)
Zanzibara Vol. 1: A Hundred Years of Tarab in Zanzibar (Buda Musique)
4 Days and 11 Nights (2006)
Made in Zanzibar (2009)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel is also co-founder of the Transglobal World Music Chart.

Angel has also produced and remastered world music studio albums and compilations for labels such as Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, and Music of the World.


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