Monsoon Restaurant
Taraab Performance
Every Wednesday and Friday evening, Matona's Taraab group performs inside Monsoon.

Matona is a teacher of the Dhow Countries Music Academy and definitely the most talented musicians in Zanzibar, playing more than 6 different instruments. They perform classic Taraab always leaving diners amazed and entertained. Please be advised to book well in advance for a space inside.

Read more about the background of Taarab Music...
Outside Terrace at Monsoon Restaurant
Mzee Kheri performs n’goma (drum beats) every Saturday.

He is pleasant and charismatic, always smiling while his hands beats away on the beautifully decorated local drum.


Busara Music Festival & Zanzibar International Film Festival

Monsoon has been in the forefront in support of the annual Busara Music Festival  and the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF). These events completely transform the Stone Town of Zanzibar bringing a different spirit and light. Monsoon highly recommends visits to Zanzibar during the festivals. (Busara Music Festival picture by Thomas Dorn.)
Busara Music Festival
Taraab Music - The Swahili Inheritance

It is well known that Egyptian Arabs introduced Taraab music in Zanzibar sometime in the 19th century. Initially, Taraab was only enjoyed by Arab aristocrats for that reason Taraab was sung in Arabic. Sultan Bargash was known to be one of the promoters of what was then considered new and foreign music. The instruments used in the early days were violin, drums, Kanun and accordion, today used for traditional style Taraab.

A century later in the 1920’s, women of slave descendant: Sit Bint Sadi changed Taraab music forever.  Singing in Swahili, Taraab soon became popular with the African population, as it awarded its new audience with the pleasure of foreign music. Ever since, Taraab has not only brought pleasure to the African people but above all has played a significant role in the development of the Swahili culture. Over the years different styles of Taraab have evolved, such as Kidumbak performed with vibrating African drums and modern Taraab played with electric instruments, with the words expressing the daily experiences & relationships between women and men, for example love affairs, jealousy etc.

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