The G Clef Taarab Orchestra performs regularly in the bars, dance halls, clubs and at weddings. In a drive to revive the variety of musical genres from the dhow countries region, it demonstrates its musical versatility through genres such as modern taarab, mgodro, salege, chakacha, sega and mbiwi.
The G Clef Taarab Orchestra aka G Clef Band or Matona’s Group was formed in 1995 after the privatisation of the Bwawani Hotel and subsequent break-up of the Bwawani Taarab Orchestra. As former director of the Bwawani Taarab Orchestra, Matona was asked by the musicians to continue by forming a new group, hence The G Clef Taarab Orchestra, which at that time continued to perform traditional taarab music.
The band originally was composed of the Bwawani Taarab Orchestra musicians but once the older musicians left, Matona recruited new, younger musicians who needed training.
The G Clef Taarab Orchestra became the first music training centre for musicians in Zanzibar, taught by Matona to play mostly modern instruments. Its repertoire included modern and traditional taarab, Indian, Arab, African, rock, pop and ‘muziki wa dansi’.
The band became dormant in 2001 when Matona’s musical talents were diverted to teaching at Zanzibar’s Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA).
Perceiving the need for a band in Zanzibar that could perform a variety of musical genres, Matona reformed the group in 2015.