East Africa’s fifteen-piece Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar makes its North American debut as the most important event in the city’s eight-day World Music Festival 2006. Founded in 1958 and made up of violins, ganun, oud, accordions, double bass, dumbak, bongos, rika, guest singers and guest vocalist Amina, Culture Club of Zanzibar is the premier ensemble of taarab, a popular music genre that fuses Arabic and African elements that is showcased in East African clubs and is known for its high energy, elaborate melodic ornamentation and contagious rhythms and which became associated with the youth movement during Zanzibar’s struggle for independence in the 1950s. Opening the show is Middle Eastern singer Natacha Atlas, who fuses Arabic and North African music with Western electronic beats and who will be accompanied by a traditional Middle Eastern chamber ensemble. (Dennis Polkow)
September 18 at Daley Center, 50 W. Washington. Noon. Free. Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, Michigan Ave. between Randolph and Monroe, (312)742-1938. 6:30pm.