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Country Zanzibar Genres traditional roots Website www.zanzibarmusic.org Festival Sauti za Busara: 2015
The idea for this group was born from Matona's desire to return to the roots of the traditional music of his childhood: the sounds and music played by the many inhabitants from Comoros who lived around Stone Town. Thanks to funding from Alliance Francaise and Japanese Trust, Matona was able to travel to Comoros as part of the Song of the Moon project whose aim was to revive taarab on these islands. Whilst there, Matona met and performed with two great artists: Bwana Riziki (Comoros) and Athamani Subira (Mayotte), in a musical exchange that touched him deeply. Bwana Riziki taught Matona to play gambusi. The journey continued in 2012 when Matona was invited to Mayotte with the Violins of Zanzibar project, where he had the privilege of performing with the famous taarab singer and composer Lima Wilde. Soon afterwards in Marseille, France, Matona met Ahamada Smis and Athuan Subira, both originally from Comoros, and Lego, a famous accordion player and composer from Madagascar. These musicians continued to extend Matona's understanding of the islands musical styles and instruments. Using the repertoire as learned from these teachers, Matona taught the songs, dances and compositions to DCMA students, who soon began to compose their own songs.
Mgodro Group, as formed in 2013, is one of the fruits of this training. This fruit contains a variety of flavours from the Indian Ocean islands of Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius: music which is rooted in rhythms of chakacha, mgodro, salegy, sega, maloya, chigoma, dumbadori and mbiwi. These musical traditions celebrate religion, culture and brotherhood and were once extremely popular in Zanzibar but more recently lost and forgotten. The Mgodro Group played at ZIFF 2013, and now performs weekly in Zanzibar, and occasionally in Dar es Salaam. It has become popular and enjoyed by many.
Matona Mohamed: lead vocals, violin, percussion, gambus, oud, clarinet, sumsumia (Ethiopian krar), traditional harp, saxophone; Salum Juma: bass; Muya Jumbe: percussion; Hussein Tisso: drums; Darveshi Mrisko: gambus; Marian Said: vocals; Mtuma Kombo: vocals; Kishoka: traditional drums; Gora Mohamed: Qanun; Kesi: keyboard; Hasna Omar: dance; Khadija Mohamed: dance