Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga | Maisha ni Matamu

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Facebook Fan Page ReverbNation page Maisha ni Matamu video on YouTube Samba's blog: tour and studio updates

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World: Afro-Pop World: African- East Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Maisha ni Matamu

by Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga

With a delightful spectrum of rhythms and messages, from ecstatic dance-inducing songs to gentle acoustic rumba, the golden voice of East Africa's international music ambassador sings straight from his soul to yours.
Genre: World: Afro-Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Maisha ni Matamu (Life is Sweet)
5:24 $0.99
2. Zanzibar
5:35 $0.99
3. Jirani (Neighbors)
3:37 $0.99
4. Nipigie Simu (Call Me)
4:55 $0.99
5. Tupande Miti (Let's Plant Trees)
6:35 $0.99
6. Tupandane (Let Us Love Each Other)
4:45 $0.99
7. Les Gorilles des Montagnes
3:32 $0.99
8. Jirani (Instrumental)
3:35 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
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, 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

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

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:
All compositions by Samba Mapangala; ©Virunga Music (SACEM) Administered for the world by Annie Reed Music Ltd. (PRS)
Official Facebook fan page:
Booking: Mel Puljic, (U.S.); Dirk Feys, (Europe)



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Alpha-Si Kanu

Samba Mapangala-Maisha ni Matamu
It will be appreciated to say Samba Mapangala is the world,s greatest and this cd has proven itself on several fronts of rating his appropriate skills and perfomance.No regrets in having a copy in my collection.

Joe Ross

Very enjoyable, fun and moving
Songwriter and lead vocalist Samba Mapangala is Congolese by birth, but he has made his career in Kenya for over twenty years and considers that his home. I first became acquainted with Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga when these Congolese and Kenyan musicians brought their rich tapestry of vocals, guitars, rhythm instruments and horns to our summer “Music on the Halfshell” concert series in Roseburg, Oregon. It wasn’t long before the crowd of several thousand were on their feet dancing. Their music is a successful worldwide sound that is simply very enjoyable, fun and moving. The seductive rhythms contain plenty of expressive emotion. Despite social, political and economic challenges at home, the Congolese musicians present original compositions that have straight-forward messages such as Life is Sweet, Neighbors, Call Me, Let’s Plant the Trees, and Let’s Love Each Other. These universal sentiments have broad appeal in a genre known as “soukous” although I’m not that well versed in the complete lyrics as sung in Swahili, Lingala, or French. “Tupande Miti” (Let’s Plant the Trees) also incorporates some English lyrics. This group’s compelling pop sound appeals to broad diverse audiences of indigenous, tribal, national, urban or international audiences.

Recorded in Kenya, France and the U.S. and produced by Samba Mapangala, the album features Orchestra Virunga along with many guest musicians such as Suzanna Owiyo (vocals), Awillo Mike (vocals), Ballou Canta (vocals), Jimmy Mvondo (sax), Syran Mbenza (guitar), Huit Kilos (guitar), Beniko Popolipo (guitar), and John Bashengezi (bass). Mvondo does some fine horn work on “Zanzibar,” a tribute to legendary Tanzanian singer Bi Kidude and the Sauti za Busara Festival. “Jirani (Neighbors)” is a cautionary tale for nosy neighbors, decoratively wrapped Huit Kilos’ melodic guitar lines and Dante Pascuzzo’s bass groove. “Tupande Miti (Let’s Plant the Trees)” was written to recognize Dr. Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement. In 1976, Professor Maathai initiated community-based tree planting that has now grown into a broad-based grassroots organization (Green Belt Movement) whose main focus is poverty reduction and environmental conservation through tree planting. The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient has assisted women in planting more than 40 million trees on community lands including farms, schools and church grounds. Talented multi-instrumentalist John Bashengezi played guitar, bass, percussion (as well as the uncredited harmonica) on the breezy “Tupendane (Let’s Love Each Other).” Another song on the album, “Les Gorilles des Montagnes” was written by Samba Mapangala for the World Wildlife Fund to create awareness about the need to protect gorillas in the Congo’s Virunga National Park. All in all, this East African soukous music has appealing earthiness and simply gets us dancing right into pop-friendly territory. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, Or.)