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. Immigrating to the United States in 1987, Samite now makes his home in Ithaca, New York and has performed in a broad variety of venues throughout the country. He has released eight CDs internationally and recently, the film Taking Root: the Vision of Wangari Maathai,which features his original score, debuted nationally on PBS. In 2002, Samite 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 to war-torn countries in Africa to work in refugee camps, with former child soldiers and AIDS orphans. Most recently Samite attended Connecting For Change, part of
the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit: Nobel Laureates in Dialogue hosted by the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. His smooth vocals accompanied by the kalimba, marimba, litungu, and various flutes now mesmerize audiences throughout the world.
" 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..."
Los Angeles Times
"When Samite translated his songs, their serenity seemed almost miraculous."
New York Times
"Samite wraps his warm voice around melodies that seem to rise up off the Ugandan plateau, caressed
by his kalimbas and other native instruments."
“Organic, rootsy and yet highly sophisticated.
Sing Out Magazine
Samite – Discography
My Music World.
Samite Music, 2010
My Music World is a gift to samite fans; who have allowed him to share his life stories with them and have made his music part of their life stories. This music is one more story for them - here Samite explores his Ugandan roots and celebrates the world of musical influences that he enjoys while drawing attention to the plight of the endangered mountain gorillas and the rainforests they call home
Triloka Records, 2006
Embalasasa comprises 10 tracks of soothing piano, kalimba, drums and acoustic guitar.
The title track talks about a chromatic lizard that seemed attractive to touch but gave a lethal
bite. "As kids, my granddad cautioned us against playing with this lizard and he killed it always,"
explains Samite. "I have used it as an allusion to sex saying it may be beautiful but it can bite
you with Aids. I am calling upon my granddad to help us get rid of this epidemic." The song is a
cry for help and a testimony to the futility 25 years of Aids research has yielded.
Triloka Records, 2003
Tunula Eno a work of commitment, devotion and an overwhelming
sense of humanity. Written and recorded during the last year of his
late wife Joan, before she died. The album is a celebration of that which makes
us human: love, loss, endurance, hope. It is a joyous album
conveying optimism through stories and song, replete with swirling
melodies, infectious rhythms and soulful vocals. Indeed these
songs are a reflection of life itself.
Wind Over The Earth, 2001
Kambu Angels was inspired by an Africa that is renewing itself,
the people, and particularly the children. They are the spirit at the
heart of this album. Samite uses the strength of his voice and his
playful kalimbas to weave this colorful landscape of theme and
melody. It is an album about peace, renewal, forgiveness, grace,
Stars to Share
Windham Hill, 1999
Stars to Share is another giant step by an artist who has made a
career out of confounding expectations. This time, Samite has set
aside his marimba and litungu (traditional Kenyan harp) for the
subtle rhythms of the kalimba. Samite's music tends to be
evocative, and on this album the mood evoked is less chipper and
more contemplative than some of his previous albums.
Xenophile Records, 1996
Silina Musango is filled with fleeting snatches of a wide
assortment of sounds and textures. These provide Samite's
falsetto vocals with an ever-changing and beautiful background of
instrumental moods. A light but frothy mixture of accordions,
marimbas, kalimbas, litungus, guitars, drums and flutes swirls
around the vocals giving the album a flowing and timeless quality
Pearl of Africa Reborn
Shanachie Records, 1992
Samite’s autobiographical music tends to romanticize his
homeland, the titular "Pearl of Africa," as well as his mother, to
whom this album is dedicated. Accompanying himself with rolling,
repetitious figures on a variety of kalimbas (thumb pianos), Samite
sings in a dry tenor voice about his mother's cooking, her
storytelling, the introduction of the English language to Uganda,
bicycles, and fear.
Dance, My Children, Dance (Abaana Bakesa)
Shanachie Records, 1990
Amazingly diverse, the broad spectrum of musical styles heard on
the African continent range from happy and upbeat to moody to
tranquil. Samite definitely favors tranquility on this very haunting
and hypnotic CD. In addition to providing all of the album's vocals,
Samite plays most of its instruments -- including the kalimba, the
marimba, the litungu, African flutes and various African
percussions. A multi-faceted individual, the earthy Samite sees to
it that this album is enriching from start to finish.
Samite also appears on the following compilations:
Putumayo world music
The fourth release in Putumayo Kids’ successful Dreamland series,
African Dreamland features enchanting and calming African songs
for relaxation and sweet dreams.
Putumayo world music
An entertaining and educational musical expedition to Africa
for children and families
Jane Goodall'sWild Chimpanzees (Soundtrack)
Four Winds (Ryko), 2003
Ellipsis Arts, 1999
Music from the Coffee Lands
Putumayo World Music, 1997
On aWinter's Night
African Voices (Songs Of Life)
Native Wisdom (WorldMusic Of The Spirit)