WEST HARTFORD — In the summer of 2016, Samite Mulondo began an artist residency at the University of Saint Joseph. Since then, Samite has performed musical concerts, mentored students, and taught in campus departments. He returns to the USJ stage with a family-friendly matinee, “The Story of Mutoto,” on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m., followed by an evening concert with his band at 7:30 p.m., according to an email from the University. Tickets can be purchased at www.tickets.usj.edu or 860.231.5555 for $20-$14. Performances will be held in the Bruyette Athenaeum at the University of Saint Joseph, located at 1678 Asylum Ave. in West Hartford.
Samite’s inspiration for “The Story of Mutoto” was born out of his many trips into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in eastern Uganda and his encounters with the endangered silverback mountain gorilla. Samite will take the audience on a journey to the Uganda of his childhood, in contrast to today’s plight of the endangered silverback mountain gorillas. A story told through the eyes of Mutoto, a baby gorilla, with original music and photography — an educational and inspirational show for all ages.
The evening concert will feature Samite and his band. You will hear kalimbas, a litungu (African harp), and a variety of other traditional instruments — flutes, percussion, guitars — in an experience that reminds us that music really is the universal language.
Autorino Center Director Steve Raider Ginsburg says about the shows, “Samite has been an area favorite and we are overjoyed to have his dynamic presence and artistry back for two events: the afternoon family ‘edutainment’ experience, along with a rocking evening concert.”
On Friday, Feb. 21 from 11 a.m. — 12 p.m. Samite Mulondo will participate in a panel discussion, “Ripples Through the Region: Exploring the Connections Between Arts, Activism, Culture, Conservation and Tropical Ecology in Africa,” at the USJ in the Bruyette Athenaeum 2nd floor Reception Room. The panel is free and open to the public. Dr. Kirsten Martin, associate professor of Biology, will moderate panel.
World-renowned musician, humanitarian, and photographer, Samite escaped violence in his native Uganda eventually building a successful music career in the United States. Learning to play the Western flute at the age of 12, he became one of the most acclaimed flutists of East Africa, eventually working as a multi-instrumentalist in the studio with Paul Simon and William Ackerman, performing for the Dalai Lama and touring with Ladysmith Black Mombazo. Samite now travels to refugee camps and orphanages in the war-torn regions of Africa to use the healing power of music to helping those displaced and distressed to sing again. In the U.S. and Canada, Samite uses his music to help unlock memories in dementia patients and to help refugees living with the stress of resettlement. Today Samite enables musicians throughout the world to share their music to promote peace as he brings healing music to refugee camps, former child soldiers and AIDS orphans through the organization he founded, Musicians for World Harmony (2002).
For Samite’s complete bio and additional information, visit www.samite.com.