Saturday, December 13, 2014

Rare video footage of Orchestra Virunga in Bristol, England, 1992

A rare glimpse of Samba with a fabulous hot band back in his heyday, plus backstage interview footage. On stage: Rama Athumani and Twahiri Mohamed, sax; Koko Kanyinda, congas; Abdallah Kodi, drums; Syran Mbenza, lead guitar; Bavon Masudi, rhythm guitar; Juma Kacheji, bass; Pepe Ibrahim Matokeo, vocals; Big thank you to Koko Kanyinda for finding this film and sharing it with us--asante sana ndugu!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Behind the Scenes with Samba Mapangala, Banning Eyre, and The Afropop 25th Anniversary Gala

Breaking news! We are delighted to announce that Samba Mapangala has been invited to perform at Afropop Worldwide's 25th Anniversary Gala Concert, Thurs. Sept. 19 in NYC. He will do an acoustic "Samba Unplugged" set, backed by none other than the Hon. Banning Eyre on guitar. Rehearsal clip of Samba and Banning practicing "Mongali" for the Afropop Gala. Tickets are still available for this benefit concert to support the continuing efforts of Afropop Worldwide, the premier showcase for African music.The lineup for Afropop’s 25th Anniversary Gala just keeps getting better! Joining the bill alongside Grammy Award nominee Bassekou Kouyate, Malian star Mamadou Kelly, and Sudanese vocalist Omer Ehsas is the Congolese master vocalist Samba Mapangala! Mapangala is one of the few musician from his golden period of Congolese music still actively performing, touring, and recording, and so it is with great joy that we announce that he has joined the bill of artists performing at the gala on the 19th of September.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga U.S. Tour Dates Summer 2013

Virunga Management is delighted to announce live performance dates in June, July and August for East Africa's most-beloved singer Samba Mapangala. 

Photo by Bonnie Perkinson, courtesy of Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Songwriters and Poets 2013
Washington DC: Club Heaven, 2325 18th St. NW, Adams Morgan district
9-11 pm. $10 adv./$15 at door. Age 21 +

Charleston West Virginia: Wine and All That Jazz Festival
University of Charleston, 2300 Maccorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV

Detroit Michigan: Concert of Colors
Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit

Bangor, Maine: American Folk Festival
3 performances

July, August and September dates available: Contact Mel Puljic, Folklore Productions

For updates and news, please join Samba's Facebook fan page and Reverbnation fan list.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chagua Chagua! New song for Kenya Election

For immediate release Oct. 2, 2012

In anticipation of Kenya's national election in March 2013, East Africa's most-beloved singer Samba Mapangala has recorded "Chagua Chagua" (Vote in Peace), an important new song that encourages people to choose their leaders wisely. Echoing the call by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and others for a fair democratic process free of fraud and violence, Samba reminds Kenyan citizens that a peaceful country will succeed economically in the future to the benefit of all, and can set an example for other African nations to follow.

Samba Mapangala is renowned in East Africa for his many songs that counsel, teach and warn people to consider the consequences of their actions. The idea for "Chagua Chagua" was suggested by a Virunga fan in Kenya who asked him to compose a "message song" for the upcoming elections, saying Samba should encourage all citizens to register and to vote, and not to sell their voter's cards: "With your music, you can save the country because in Kenya everybody listens to your music." Samba took the suggestion to heart and created a lively soukous track that delivers the message to his audiences all over the world, stating: "I was happy to contribute to the country that I love, people that I love. Kenya is my home. I grew up there. I want to advise people to vote in peace. The violence that happened in 2007 must not happen again. I know people will listen and stand together. I'm doing my part and I call on all Kenyans to do their part for the good of the nation--all Kenyans, at home and abroad." Although composed with Kenya in mind, "Chagua Chagua" has universal implications for all nations facing the challenge of democratic elections.
The unique video clip for "Chagua Chagua" was created by Maddo (Paul Kelemba), the groundbreaking editorial cartoonist for Kenya's The Standard newspaper. His widely popular comic strip "It's a Madd Madd World," which has run weekly for 23 years, comments on political and social life with humorous but informative anecdotes.
Chagua Chagua was recorded in Arlington, Virgina and Paris, France, with John Bashengezi on guitars, bass and chorus, and Komba Bellow Mafwala on drums and percussion. It is available as a free download and streaming on the Web at Soundcloud chagua-remix-8-15-12 (MP3 and WAV formats), and posted on YouTube Copies of the song and video for airplay are available by request to credentialed media outlets.

--CC Smith Virunga Management

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Virunga at Afrikafest in July 2012

Lovely video clips of Virunga's performance at Afrikafest in Hertme, Netherlands in July have just been made available courtesy of Ton Kraayenvanger. Here is the sebene from "Malako" to start things off: special thanks to Peter Toll! Bandmembers were Syran Mbenza & Bopol Mansiamina on guitars, Amed Barry, bass, Komba Bellow Mafwala, drums, Roger Kom, sax, Ballou Kanta, harmony vocals & animation; Samba Mapangala, lead vocal/bandleader. Enthusiastic audience participation and ambiance from Kenyan community in Holland. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Life Is Sweet - Summer Tour 2012

Gearing up now for performances in England, Netherlands and Los Angeles, CA, in June-July! Samba has not appeared in UK since 2007 at WOMAD, and a short tour of England in 2006 promoting the Song & Dance album, so we are looking forward to meeting and greeting his many many fans at events including Africa Oye in Liverpool (2 days, performing June 23 and June 24--free admission), and AfrikaFestival in Hertme, Netherlands July 8, as well as other gigs in and around London. And hang tight, Los Angeles: Virunga kicks off the Skirball Cultural Center's summer Sunset Concerts series on Thurs. July 26! Full details at our Facebook fan page and ReverbNation .

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dunia Tuna Pita Live on stage at Sauti za Busara 2009

Lighting up the stage in front of a Zanzibari crowd who seemed able to sing along to every song, this is Samba Mapangala peforming 'Dunia Tuna Pita' which translates as 'We are just passing through this world'. Recorded at Sauti za Busara 2009. Featured instrumentalists Syran Mbenza, lead guitar, Komba Bellow, drums. Produced by Andy Jones, Screenstation, for Busara Promotions.