Journey to the Soul of Africa with a world-renowned musician at the LPCA

LAKE PLACID The Lake Placid Center for the Arts is proud to welcome world-renowned Ugandan musician and photographer Samite, to the stage on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. Samite takes you on a unique journey to his Africa through stories, original images and music played on traditional African instruments. A former refugee, Samite now travels to the war-torn countries of East and West Africa to work with former child soldiers and AIDS orphans. These unique experiences allow him to speak knowledgably about human rights issues there. I am convinced that we are all moved by the same desires, needs and emotions, regardless of the language in which those feelings are expressed. Samite was born and raised in Uganda, where his grandfather taught him to play traditional African flute before his fingers were long enough to cover all the sound holes on the flute. When he was twelve, a music teacher placed a western flute in his handssetting him on his way to becoming one of East Africas 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. His smooth vocals were soon mesmerizing audiences in Nairobi, his new home. He sang original and traditional songs in his mother tongue, Luganda, while playing on the kalimba (finger-piano), marimba (wooden xylophone), litungu (seven-stringed Kenyan instrument), and various flutes. Samite immigrated to the United States in 1987, and now makes his home in Ithaca, New York. He has performed in a broad variety of venues throughout the county and his music is enjoyed regularly by radio listeners nationwide. Tunula Eno, his sixth CD, reached #2 in the CMJ Music World Chart within the first month of its 2003 release. He performed live on the nationally syndicated radio program Echoes, and recorded a live performance for the Ngoma Channel on XM Satellite Radio in Washington, DC. His live performance on the nationally syndicated show E-Town has been broadcasted on over 120 stations, as has his performance on nationally syndicated World Vision Radio. In 2002, Samite founded Musicians for World Harmony (www.musiciansforworldharmony.org) a 501c3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to enabling musicians throughout the world to share their music to promote peace, understanding, and harmony among peoples, with a special emphasis on the displaced or distressed who can benefit most from the healing power of music. In that capacity he travels as often as possible, with as many people as care to join him, to sing, play music, and exchange stories with severely disadvantaged children. Samite was a featured performer at Maharishi Universitys National Conference on Peace at the Maharishi University in Fairfield, Iowa, in 2004. On June 2, 2006, he joined Paul Winter, Wyclef Jean, The African Children's Choir, and other skilled musicians at the United Nations General Assembly conference Uniting the World against AIDs. Embalasasa, Samites seventh and newest CD, was recently released by Triloka/Artemis. It is named after a beautifully colored, yet highly poisonous, lizard Samite recalls from his childhood in the Ugandan countryside. It is a symbol, he explains, of the modern embalasasa, AIDS, a disease transmitted through the most beautiful, vibrant and natural actsex. Billboard magazine calls Embalasasa a superbly chilled-out piece of work . . . [with] moving and seductive melodies. Samite is currently composing music for a documentary film on the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Wangari Mathai of Kenya. This will also be released as his eighth CD. His goal is to open peoples minds and hearts to the common threads of human concerns, conveying optimism through stories and song. Tickets are $14 and $12 and can be purchased by calling the LPCA Box Office at 518-523-2512. For more information on these and other upcoming events, visit online at www.LakePlacidArts.org .

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