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  • Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga

    CountryKenya DRC
    Genresrumba
    Website

    www.reverbnation.com/sambamapangala

    FestivalSauti za Busara 2009
    Recordings

    It's Disco Time with Samba Mapangala, 1982; Malako Disco, 1983; Safari, 1988; Vunja Mifupa, 1989; Paris-Nairobi, 1990; Virunga Volcano, 1990; Feet On Fire, 1991; Karibu Kenya, 1996; Ujumbe, 2001; Virunga Roots, Vol. 1, 2004; Song and Dance, 2006; African Classics, 2007; Obama Ubarikiwe, 2008; Les Gorilles des Montagnes, 2009; Maisha Ni Matamu (Life Is Sweet), 2011; Chagua Chagua (Vote in Peace), 2012

    Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga
    Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga

    When 20-year-old singer Samba Mapangala boarded the riverboat for Kisangani in 1975, little did he know where it would really be taking him. The young vocalist, one of a quartet of singers in the Kinshasa dance band Saka Saka, was heading with his mates for a tour of Eastern Zaire. Soukous was all the rage then, and Congolese dance bands were in great demand. When a better offer came to play in Kampala, Uganda two months later, the group eagerly grabbed it, and when a chance arose to record their music in Kenya, they did not hesitate, hightailing it to Nairobi's well-equipped studios to make their first record, "Lokoki." Rechristened L'Orchestre Les Kinois, they established their reputation in Nairobi, playing at the Uhuru Park nightclub and recording many more hit rumba Lingala songs. Samba's beautiful high tenor voice became the main attraction, along with sweet group harmonies and exciting dance routines.When Les Kinois broke up in 1981, Samba formed Orchestra Virunga (named after a volcanic mountain range in central Africa).

     

    In the highly competitive East African music scene, Virunga quickly became the region's most popular band. No one could touch them for the unequivocal excellence of their front line of singers, performing a constant string of hot dance hits for over 12 years at Nairobi's leading nightclubs Starlight Club and Garden Square. The ensuing international acclaim for their greatest hit, "Malako," secured the brilliant future and now-legendary status that Samba could not even imagine when he took that first fateful step onto the deck of the Zaire River ferry. Samba Mapangala and Virunga first toured the U.K. in 1991, playing 23 concerts and causing a terrific buzz, followed by many more tours of North America and Europe. Since leaving Kenya to settle in the United States in 1997, Samba has continued to perform internationally at festivals and concert halls throughout Africa, Europe and North America.Virunga's music is an innovative mix of the best rumba and soukous from Congo, infused with earthier Kenyan and Tanzanian styles.

     

    Samba composes and sings in both Lingala and Kiswahili. The lyrics, often containing advice or social commentary, are charming and instructive, the melodies delightful, the arrangements exuberant. His astounding voice has been described as "melting in the ears." Nick Hasted, in The Independent (UK), proclaimed following a recent appearance at the prestigious WOMAD festival: "Pure balm, he makes you wonder again why African music still awaits its Marley moment of global breakthrough."Samba's audience is very broad, loyal and international, comprising fans of East African, Congolese and world music, and his reputation as an exciting performer, composer and sublime vocalist is well established.

     

    He is a polished professional, conscientious and very easy to work with. His latest recordings, video clips, biography, touring history, photos, promotional materials, press clips and reviews, stage plot and tech rider can be provided on request.WEBSITES: http://facebook.com/sambamapangalahttp://reverbnation/sambamapangalahttp://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/SambaMapangalaOrchestraVirungahttp://www.youtube.com/virungamanagementMANAGEMENT: CC Smith, virungamgmt@gmail.com (734) 325-2565