Culture Musical Club began life as part of the youth organization of the Afro Shirazi Party during Zanzibar’s struggle for independence back in 1956. Today, CMC is Zanzibar’s most prolific and successful taarab orchestra. The club performs widely at concerts in Zanzibar’s Stone Town, but also frequently takes its music to the rural areas.
Their international tours and CD-releases have made the name Culture Musical Club known to audiences throughout the world so that rehearsals in their clubhouse have become somewhat of a tourist attraction. This, however, does not interfere with the first and foremost aim of their social gathering – to enjoy music and “to be moved” by it, as the original meaning of the word “taarab” implies.
Besides taarab, many club members are also active in kidumbak groups. Both types of music are now included in their shows, contrasting the serene sound of orchestral taarab to the festive and sexually charged dance that is kidumbak.