Country Zanzibar Genres traditional taarab Festival Sauti za Busara 2005, 2020, 2022 Recordings The Music of Zanzibar 2, Globe Style Records (1988)
Founded in 1905, Nadi Ikhwan Safaa can probably trace its roots back further than any other orchestra in Africa.
At first, the group played Egyptian and Arabic music. In the early 1950s, they started composing their own songs with Swahili lyrics. Since then, Ikhwan Safaa - or ‘Malindi Taarab’, as they are affectionately known - continue to enjoy huge popularity with local people of all ages and backgrounds.
The music of Ikhwan Safaa is taarab in its original beauty: delicate poetry, outstanding vocal performances, with finely-chiselled instrumentals and elaborate ornamentation, revealing a close connection with their Arabic roots. Love, companionship, friendship, the enjoyment of music, the pains of sadness; all find expression in their moving performances and sweet orchestral arrangements.
The group has performed across East Africa, in UK, Oman and Dubai. 2022 sees their third performance on home turf at Sauti za Busara festival in Stone Town.
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