East Africa’s most beloved singer presents a joyous new studio album bearing the message: Life is sweet, but short. Let’s have some fun – Come dance with me! The mighty Orchestra Virunga is joined here by guest artists including Suzanna Owiyo, Awillo Mike of Kenya’s Ja-mnazi Afrika band, Ballou Canta, sax maestro Jimmy Mvondo, guitar luminaries Syran Mbenza, Huit Kilos and Zaiko Langa Langa’s Beniko Popolipo, and introducing the extraordinary John Bashengezi.
Employing a delightful spectrum of rhythms and messages, Samba ventures into Latin and reggae beats and socially conscious topics such as tribalism and environmental awareness. Ecstatic dance-inducing songs such as “Maisha Ni Matamu” and “Nipigie Simu”; the luscious rumbas of “Zanzibar” and “Tupande Miti”; “Jirani,” a caution to nosy neighbors delivered with a lilting Caribbean swing; and the gentle acoustic tour de force of “Tupendane” offer an utterly entrancing musical excursion conducted by the unparalleled international music ambassador Samba Mapangala.
The album is released worldwide by Virunga Records as a CD available from CDBaby.com, and digitally distributed on CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster and elsewhere. The video clip for "Maisha Ni Matamu," filmed in the heart of New York City, features sizzling African dancers and a surprise guest appearance by the NYPD. It was directed by Sam Epstein and Bob Coen, camera by Samantha Conti. Watch it on YouTube.
The album will be launched in the US on Aug. 13 with a concert at the Cedar in Minneapolis, MN. Samba and Orchestra Virunga will also appear at the National Folk Festival in Nashville, TN on Sept. 2-4.
Further developments to be announced on the Facebook fan page and ReverbNation.
CONTACT: CC Smith, Virunga Management
1. MAISHA NI MATAMU 5:25
Guitar solo: Beniko Popolipo / Guitar rhythm: Syran Mbenza / Bass: John Bashengezi
Drums: Komba Bellow Mafwala / Keyboard: Fabio / Percussion: Alfredo Mojica
Vocals: Samba Mapangala, Jonal Buya di Lutete, Wuta Mayi / Animation: John Bashengezi, Komba Bellow
2. ZANZIBAR 5:35
Guitar solo: Beniko Popolipo / Guitar rhythm, Bass: John Bashengezi / Drums: Komba Bellow Mafwala
Percussion: Alfredo Mojica / Saxophone: Jimmy Mvondo / Vocals: Samba Mapangala, Awillo Mike Otieno Ooko / Animation: John Bashengezi
(With great respect to legendary Tanzanian singer Bi Kidude, and the Sauti za Busara festival)
3. JIRANI (Neighbors) 3:37
Lead and rhythm guitar: Huit Kilos / Bass: Dante Pascuzzo / Drums: Kiko Cornejo / Congas: Papo Rodriguez / Saxophone: James King / Vocal: Samba Mapangala
4. NIPIGIE SIMU (Call me) 4:55
Guitar solo: Dave Otieno / Guitar rhythm: John Mutombo / Guitar mi-solo: Syran Mbenza / Bass: John Bashengezi / Drums: Komba Bellow Mafwala / Percussion: Alfredo Mojica / Keyboard: Alejandro Fuentes / Saxophone: Jimmy Mvondo / Vocal: Samba Mapangala / Animation: Komba Bellow Mafwala
5. TUPANDE MITI (Let’s plant the trees) 6:35
Guitar solo: Dave Otieno, Syran Mbenza / Guitar rhythm: John Mutombo / Bass: Champro Lubamba / Drums: Komba Bellow Mafwala / Percussion: Alfredo Mojica / Vocals: Suzanna Owiyo, Ballou Canta, John Bashengezi, Samba Mapangala
(In recognition of Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement)
6. TUPENDANE (Let's love each other) 4:45
Guitar solo, rhythm, bass, percussion: John Bashengezi / Vocals: Samba Mapangala, John Bashengezi
7. LES GORILLES DES MONTAGNES 3:32
Lead and rhythm guitar: Huit Kilos / Bass: Dante Pascuzzo / Drums: Kiko Cornejo / Congas: Papo Rodriguez Saxophone: James King / Lead vocal: Samba Mapangala / Harmony vocal: Dodo Munoko
(Composed for the World Wildlife Fund for the protection of the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park, Congo DRC)
8. JIRANI (Instrumental) 3:35 (Same personnel as #3)
Produced by Samba Mapangala • Executive Producer: CC Smith
Recorded at Ketebul Studio, Nairobi; Engineer Jesse Bukindu; Art of Music, Alexandria VA, Engineer Jeff Tucker; Master Sun, Paris: Realization by Syran Mbenza; Ecuasound Studio, Hollywood CA, Engineer Ivan Castro
Mastering: Douglas Paterson • Art Direction: Saki Mafundikwa • Cover photo: CC Smith
Virunga Management: firstname.lastname@example.org
All compositions by Samba Mapangala; ©Virunga Music (SACEM) Administered for the world by Annie Reed Music Ltd. (PRS)
Official Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/SambaMapangala
Booking: Mel Puljic, MondoMundo.com (U.S.); Dirk Feys, Tsahara.com (Europe)