Sun Sound Group, Pongwe, Zanzibar

September 24, 2014

I’m interrupting the field recording in Ethiopia entries to post a few videos of a Zanzabari acoustic trio I was able to record during my recent trip there.
Known as the Sun Sound Group, they play a mix of upbeat east African / Congolese rumba influenced music (no taarab here) on a beat up, deliciously out-of-tune, low strung guitar played by Joffrey, flute and percussion by Charles, and percussion/lead vocals by Nabahani, all singing together in Franco-esque three-part harmony.
After meeting them at the Pongwe Beach Hotel where we were staying and they were performing, we arranged to do the recording session first thing the next morning (they understandably look a little bleary-eyed in the first video, but they perked up in a big way by the end).
I was fortunate enough to join in with them for the last song they did, as did subsequently the ebullient head waiter of the hotel, whose vibrant guttural singing provided some nice grit and extra sparkle to the music (it all really starts cooking after about 3:30!).
Albeit brief, my encounter with the Sun Sound Group was a deeply heart-warming encounter that added meaning and resonance to my trip. I hope to meet up with these guys again at some point down the line.

You can reach these guys by email here.

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