Toraia Orchestra of Algiers

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An Algerian troupe that toured Europe, North Africa and Egypt with their enchanting blend of traditional Arabian instruments -- the zither-like kanoun, castanets, tambourine, kamanja (similar to a violin),…
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An Algerian troupe that toured Europe, North Africa and Egypt with their enchanting blend of traditional Arabian instruments -- the zither-like kanoun, castanets, tambourine, kamanja (similar to a violin), and oud -- and wavering, fetching female vocals by Anissa Toraia and Zouina. Their Tradition album Ya Bay! (now reissued on CD) is an excellent set of popular Arab love songs with insinuating, melancholy melodies, inspirational call-and-response vocals, and dexterous execution on the stringed instruments. Shortly after the recording, one of the singers, Zouina, was married to an Egyptian prince, and never sang professionally again.