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SAMITE with Siama

  • The Cedar Cultural Center 416 Cedar Avenue Minneapolis, MN, 55454 United States (map)

The Cedar and KFAI Present

SAMITE with Siama

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 / Doors: 7:00 PM / Show: 7:30 PM

All Ages


$15 Advance / $18 Day of show

This is a seated show with general admission, first-come-first-served seating. The Cedar is happy to reserve seats for patrons who require special seating accommodations. To request access accommodations, please go to our Access page.

General Admission tickets are available online, by phone, Electric Fetus, and at The Cedar during shows.

Click here to read The Cedar’s interview with Samite!

The multiple rhythms are forceful but not domineering, and Samite’s melodies ride over and through them to create a soothing, almost lullaby-like effect. It’s modern African folk music.
— The Los Angeles Times


The world-renowned musician Samite was born and raised in Uganda, where his grandfather taught him to play the traditional flute. When he was twelve, a music teacher placed a western flute in his hands setting him on his way to becoming one of East Africa's most acclaimed flutists. He performed frequently to enthusiastic audiences throughout Uganda until 1982, when he was forced to flee to Kenya as a political refugee. Samite immigrated to the United States in 1987, and now he and his wife Sandra make their home in Ithaca, New York. Today his smooth vocals accompanied by the kalimba, marimba, litungu, and various flutes mesmerize audiences throughout the world.

Samite has released eight albums internationally and in 2009, the film Taking Root: The Vision of Angari Maathai, which features his original score, debuted nationally on PBS. Samite released My Music World, in 2010 and, as he states, the album captures more of who he is than any of his previous albums. "It represents influences from all the places I have been, from my childhood in Uganda, and my life in Kenya as a refugee, to my current travels in Africa with my work for Musicians for World Harmony. I am always inspired by my surroundings– my childhood hikes into the forest, my teenage years in Kampala, and my visits to refugee camps and orphanages." Most recently, Samite composed the soundtrack for the film Addiction Incorporated and his ninth album, Trust (Inspired by the soundtrack for the film Addiction Incorporated} was released in early 2012.

Samite is the subject of the documentary, Song of the Refugee, distributed by PBS in 1998. It was while filming this that Samite's work as a humanitarian began. In 2002, he founded Musicians for World Harmony, an organization dedicated to enabling musicians throughout the world to share their music to promote peace, understanding, and harmony among people. In that capacity he travels to sing, play music, and exchange stories with victims of war, poverty and HIV/AIDS. He has traveled extensively the war-torn and distressed countries of Uganda, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Latvia, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire to work in refugee camps, with former child soldiers and AIDS orphans. In his role as Founding Director of Musicians for World Harmony, Samite is fortunate to bring his message of peace to a wide audience. He performed his arrangement of the traditional Baganda song, Ani Oyo for The Dalai Lama in 2007 during Bridging Worlds with His Holiness The Dalia Lama in Ithaca, NY. In 2009 he performed at "Connecting For Change," part of the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit: Nobel Laureates in Dialogue, hosted by the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. In the fall of 2011, Samite performed and spoke at the UNHCR 60th Anniversary Celebration in New York City.

Visit Samite’s Website

Samite performing "Resilience" courtesy of Connecticut Public Radio’s YouTube channel.

Samite performing “Waterfall,” courtesy of Connecticut Public Radio’s YouTube channel.

About Siama Matazungidi

Renowned Congolese guitarist Siama Matuzungidi recorded hundreds of songs and toured the world with popular Soukous artists. Now based in Minneapolis, he's known for his intricate acoustic guitar, spirited singing, catchy songs and traditional African instruments like Mbira and Balafon. His lush 2016 release, "RIVERS - from the Congo to the Mississippi" was lauded by Songlines and BBC and his charming Congolese Rumba-inspired kids' album, "The Land of Yangalele", received a Parents' Choice Parent Approved award.

For this show, Siama will perform solo with acoustic guitar and voice.


Siama Matuzungidi and Dallas Johnson performing "Yele Yele" courtesy of The Current’s YouTube channel.


The logo for KFAI Radio.
Earlier Event: October 7
Cedar Volunteer Orientation - October
Later Event: October 11
JOANNE SHENANDOAH with Wade Fernandez