• Martin Ehrling

A Zanzibar evening at Fasching

Siti Muharam, Fasching Stockholm 18 nov 2021.


A Zanzibar evening at the jazzclub Fasching. Whent here by curiosity after reading Magnus Säll intresting introduction on Zamzibar singer Siti Muharam.

Zanzibar island in the indian ocean a crossroad for ships and trade between India, Arabic and Africa for centuries. In its culture mixing flavors and influences from far distances.

Well, even 1000 years before Europe came up with the idea to identify Africa by doctor Livingstone. As we learned in school.


In this evening concert the oudplayer put effort to tell the story of this music tradition.

A court music based in arabic music played for the sultan traditionally. Added indian sounding melodies and east African polyrhythmic.

This evening played by oud lute, ganum cittra and handdrum darbuka, and a bit of modern flavour electronica.


One can sense the indian ocean evening breeze to this peaceful gentel music.

Siti Muharam sings in homage to her great grandmother Siti Binti Saad who hundred years ago transformed this taarab singing tradition. The first women starting singing in this male tradition arabic singing.


Siti Binti Saad started singing in swahili, transformed by singing in a private form of improvised, if I understand, at times provocative texts.

Siti Binti Saad is the first women in east Africa to record her music. And she recorded it in a studio in India.


Hundred year later her great granddaughter Siti Muharam bringing this taarab music forward. Adding som small electronic beats and sounds, to catch the ears of the young generation, as the oud player express:

The young just go for BOOM BOOM BOOM,

So this is our answer.


A soft gentle breeze from the indian ocean at jazz club Fasching.

I can even imaging going there for some music drawing documentation.

May the wind carry me....

Martin Ehrling

Medlem i Faschings Vänner


Martin Ehrling har arbetat som illustratör för en av Sveriges största tidningar Dagens Nyheter i 16 år. Som illustratör av skolböcker arbetar han för de största förlagen i Sverige - Han har producerat utställningar och böcker för Etnografiska museet Stockholm, Stockholms Kulturhus, UNICEF och SIDA.


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