Saturday, June 5, 2010

Samba on tour with OBDBI: North America June-July 2010

Virunga Management is delighted to announce a new development in Samba Mapangala's long and prolific career as East Africa's most beloved singer. He has teamed up with a rising young band, Chicago’s Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, for a brilliant collaboration of live performances and studio recording. The new relationship has generated a creative synergy that adds a new spin to established repertoire favorites as well as inspiring  new compositions that display all their strengths. A recent cover story in the alternative weekly Chicago Reader profiled the new partnership:

The Occidental Brothers’ blend of high-energy soukous, rootsy Ghanaian highlife and African jazz conjures sounds of the golden age of the African guitar band and has made them favorites of of music critics and devotees of the style, but it’s a sound that has also seduced an audience of listeners as diverse as the members of this multi-racial band. The group is led by guitarist Nathaniel Braddock, an instructor at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music and twice profiled in Guitar Player Magazine. Braddock is joined by jazz phenom Greg Ward on alto sax, Joshua Ramos on bass and Makaya McCraven on drums. After playing the Pitchfork Festival in 2008 and GlobalFest in January 2009, the OBDBI experienced a meteoric rise–graduating from Chicago street festivals to the stages of Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Montreal and Vancouver Jazz Festivals in the course of a year.

The first OBDBI/Mapangala collaboration was the internationally applauded tribute song “Obama Ubarikiwe” in celebration of the aspiring presidential candidate, and a favorite son of Chicagoans and Africans alike. Mapangala and the OBDBI began performing together in fall 2009, and have recently begun recording music for release in 2010.

Long-time fans of Samba's music with his revered Orchestre Virunga need not despair, however. The hugely popular Virunga formation will continue to perform, tour and record the scintillating dance music that only they can provide as opportunities arise. Look for a Virunga European and African tour in summer 2011, and a new album coming soon.

Samba appears with the Occidental Brothers this summer in North America as follows:

June 19: Snoqualmie Casino (Seattle WA) KEXP Welcomes World Music Festival
July 1: Chicago Taste of Chicago
July 9: Madison, WI La Fete de Marquette
July 18: Ottawa, Canada Ottawa Bluesfest
July 22: NYC Le Poisson Rouge
July 23: Northampton, MA Iron Horse Music Hall
July 24: Providence, Rhode Island Providence Sound Session
July 28: Pittsburgh, PA The Andy Warhol Museum

For up-to-date bookings go to:
Free download of "Les Gorilles des Montagnes" composed by Samba for the World Wildlife Fund: