Journey down the Swahili Coast concert

The concert will feature two performances by Lelele Afrika, one of only a handful of groups on the Kenyan coast that continue the age-old taarab musical traditions. The group aims to conserve the traditional acoustic taarab with lyrics drawn from Swahili poems. In this concert, the group is joined by the versatile guitarist, Eddie Grey, the tabla player Prasad Velankar, and Kirit Pattni on flute.

The headlining act will be Rajab Suleiman and Kithara, a Zanzibari qanun player, best known as a member and featured soloist of the Culture Musical Club, which together with Ikhwani Safaa established the legacy of the Islands’ large taarab orchestras and social clubs. A natural musician, and untiring in his quest for musical knowledge, Rajab has moved beyond the frontiers of the taarab of old, becoming a virtuoso on the qanun, drawing from the classical Arabic and Turkish schools. With Saada Nassor's sumptuous vocals, Mohammed Hassan Ramadhan on accordion and Foum Faki Juma on percussion, Rajab Suleiman and Kithara are generating a new repertoire and marrying the island's infectious rhythms and melodies to the group’s taarab instruments