Date:   2/2/2006

Samite - Founder of Musicians for World Harmony at Thrasher

Traditional African musician, Samite, is performing at the Thrasher Opera House in Green Lake on February 25 at 7:30 p.m. thanks to generous sponsorship from Heidel House and Culligan Water Conditioning.  Samite was born in Uganda, but in 1982 fled as a political refugee to Kenya. Immigrating to the United States in 1987, he now makes his home in Ithaca, New York.

 

The turmoil Samite witnessed in his home country is what gives his music such passion. He has worked, not only through his music, but through various humanitarian programs to heal the suffering that this region has endured during the past two decades. His modern African folk music reveals the soul of Africa. “Samite uses his sweet tenor to recall the lush countryside he left behind when he fled Uganda's civil strife," said The Philadelphia Inquirer.

 

Samite’s humanitarian work deserves just as much acclaim as his music. He is the director of Musicians for World Harmony, a 501©3 organization which sponsors musicians visiting and performing in refugee camps and resettlement communities in Africa, promoting peace through the healing power of music.

 

In 1997, he returned to Uganda to film the PBS documentary Song of the Refuge, which documents his remarkable experience of traveling to the refugee camps and singing for poverty-stricken children.  His most recent trip, on Jan 4, 2006, Samite traveled to Kenya and Tanzania with eleven volunteers to visit orphanages.

 

When Samite plays the kalimba (finger-piano), marimba (wooden xylophone), litungu (seven-stringed Kenyan instrument), traditional and western flutes, and demonstrates his vocal talent in the refugee camps, the light of joy returns to children's eyes. Samite's music is a joyful collection of heartfelt, trans-cultural songs. His warm voice wraps around melodies which are caressed by his native instruments.

 

In the past 13 years, Samite has released eight CDs in the US.  His newest CD Tunula Eno (Triloka/Artemis) reached #2 in the CMJ Music World Chart within the first month of its release. A work of commitment, devotion and an overwhelming sense of humanity, written and recorded during the last year of his beloved wife Joan's life, the CD 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.

“My new upcoming CD, Embalasasa, is scheduled to be released in February 2006. I am very excited about the songs on this CD; they reflect not only where I am now, but also where I am going. I feel like this music is warm, open, and adventurous at the same time,” says Samite.

Samite was invited to write a soundtrack for a documentary film on the Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2004, Wangari Muta Maathai. “I felt privileged to be part of the project. It was special to me because I believe the work Wangari has done is important for the continuation of the human race on this earth. Coming from East Africa, where Wangari also comes from, I have seen forests cut down and the effects of that, including soil erosion and drought.”

Samite, a talented songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumental musician and humanitarian, brings the heart and soul of Africa to every stage he’s on.  Join us in celebration of Black History month by experiencing this soulful and passionate performer for yourself. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at the Thrasher office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake State Bank (Green Lake); Pick N’ Save, Ripon Drug (Ripon); Twister (Princeton); Berlin Chamber or by calling (920) 294-4279.  Online tickets available at www.thrasheroperahouse.com. 

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