The intoxicating Taffetas sound is built around the kora (West African harp-like instrument) and the Swiss duo of Marc Liebeskind (guitar) and Christophe Erard (double bass), who also take the compositional credits. Their shows in Zanzibar will feature Cheikh "Nana" Sisokko (Guinea Bissau) on kora and Fatoumata Dembele (Burkina Faso) on vocals.
Taffetas create a soul-stirring and timeless musical cocktail and the festival is proud to have this group participating in the Swahili Encounters music fusion workshops as well as several performances. In his "Top of the World" CD review for Songlines magazine, Nigel Williamson enthuses: "concentrated listening reveals hidden depths and all manner of contrapuntal cleverness, chromatic surprises and complex time signatures. There's an unmistakable feeling of constant forward motion, underpinned by the rolling rhythm of the bass, over which the guitar and kora trade irresistible cascades of notes without ever indulging in showboating. Above all, it's indescribably beautiful. Taffetas have come up with something rare these days even in the adventurous and open-minded genre that is modern world music – a sound that is totally fresh and unique."
"They simply play, interweaving with each other, taking turns to come to the front, and an hour later the listener feels both uplifted and soothed."
Charlie Gillett, BBC Radio London