Siama Matuzunigidi

Siama Matuzungidi (2014-'15 McKnight Fellow) is a singer, composer and master guitarist from DR Congo (later Kenya, Dubai, Uganda, Japan and now Minneapolis). He was in-demand studio musician during the golden era of soukous music (1970s-'80s) and his distinctive arpeggiated guitar style is featured on over 100 hit songs, several of which he composed. He's considered a major contributor to the popularization of soukous (a style of music known as, "the sound of happiness"). Since coming to the US in 1995, Siama's picked up countless influences and as a result, his new music takes listeners on a sonic journey from Congolese rumba (with clave familiar to Latin music lovers) and Pygmy call-and-response traditions, peppered with flavor from Mali, Mombassa, Delta blues and grassroots USA. He launched his solo career in late 2015 with a duet (interactive kids' programs) and "Afrobilly Trio" (African and American folk traditions). More recently, he launched "Afrobilly Blue", a quartet with Latin percussion and cello. Siama's also preparing to launch a new CD featuring collaborations with MN-based musicians of many genres and geographies.