East Central Regional Library encourages kids and families to join Siama and his wife, Dallas, for songs and stories that bring Siama’s Congolese culture to life during performances at Chisago Lakes, Aitkin, Pine City, Wyoming, Cambridge and North Branch libraries.
The program, Siama’s Congo Roots: Feel-good music from the Heart of Africa, engages both kids and adults to sing along to catchy songs in Kikongo, Lingala and Swahili and play fun hand percussion instruments. Along with learning about Siama’s rural childhood in DR Congo, hear Siama play guitar and mbira with Dallas singing harmony.
Mark your calendars for this one-of-a-kind program, funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund:
- Wednesday, June 27
10:30 am — Chisago Lakes Area Library
- Tuesday, July 17
10 a.m.—Aitkin Public Library
- Tuesday, July 24
10:30 a.m.—Pine City Public Library
2:00 p.m.—Wyoming Area Library
- Tuesday, July 31
10:30 a.m.—Cambridge Public Library
2:00 p.m.—North Branch Area Library
As a prolific composer and guitarist from DR Congo (later Uganda, Kenya, Dubai and Japan) Siama performed with many of the greats and was a sought-after studio musician, recording hundreds of popular songs during the golden era of soukous music in the 1970s-80s. His signature sound and commitment to innovation helped fuel the popularization of soukous (aka “the sound of happiness”), which is ubiquitous on dance floors the world-over to this day.
Siama launched his solo career in 2014 from Minneapolis after being awarded a McKnight Fellowship. Now that he’s running his own show, he’s developed an acoustic format, a lot of new material is flowing, and he’s collaborating with musicians of a wide array of backgrounds and instrumentation.