Back in Africa, Siama Matuzungidi toured the world and recorded hundreds of songs with popular soukous artists. Now a McKnight Fellow based in Minneapolis, Siama and his wife, storyteller/singer Dallas Johnson host fun library programs where kids sing catchy songs in Kikongo, Lingala and Swahili, hear cool stories about Siama's rural childhood in western DR Congo, play hand percussion instruments, watch puppets, try African yodeling and call-and-response singing styles and every program ends with a lively African dance party. In-keeping with the welcoming tradition of Congolese culture, full participation is always encouraged! Siama and Dallas presented their kids' program at over 70 libraries and dozens of schools and events in 2018 (in MN, TN, AL and LA). Their new CD The Land of Yangalele received a Parents' Choice "Parent Approved" award and a Creative Child "Preferred Choice" award and it's garnering rave reviews from Grammy Award winners like Joe and Justin of the Okee Dokee Brothers ("We dig it! A great addition to the family music mosaic! Outstanding rhythms and performances.") and Ladysmith Black Mambazo ("This is very beautiful music that everyone can enjoy.").
Houston Public Library "Such a GREAT event! Siama is an amazing musician and Dallas did such a fabulous job of helping kids understand what it is like to step off a plane in the heart of Africa for the first time. . . Loved the fact that they engaged the kids in singing and dancing. These events that are interactive are so much more educational and impactful that those that are straight performances! A big big big thumbs up! We will look at your available performances for next year as we set up Summer Reading events for 2019. Thanks for all the wonderful performers in 2018." - Liz Gibson-Gasset
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts "It's truly inspiring to see Siama work with children. He not only shares his great musical talent but also generously provides the opportunity to creatively express themselves through music." - Dayna Martinez
Minneapolis Institute of Art "Siama and Dallas put together a sensational show for people of all ages. Their music is unique, joyful and utterly irresistible and their love for both music and for people shows through in everything they do. Truly a delight to work with!" - Katie Wildfong
MacPhail Center for Music "I've never been to Congo but after having Siama perform for our Early Childhood concert series I feel like I got the chance to live there! I'm so grateful for the time and care they took to put together a program that would not only entertain but educate and engage our children and their families." - Ivory Doublette
Length of Program: 45-60 minutes
Recommended Ages: 0-5, Early Elementary, Middle School, High School, All-ages/Community Events
Recommended Group Size: 10 - 50 (larger groups ok too)
Number of Presenters: 2
Cost includes our own PA for smaller shows. For programs in a large auditorium or outdoor space we can bring a larger PA for an additional fee.
If the location is more than 120 miles from Minneapolis we request 2-3 bookings per day.