Sam·i·te  (Sæm ē tay) n.  1.a. World-renowned musician, b. Humanitarian, c. Photographer. 2. Born and raised in Uganda. 3. Travels the world bringing his message of peace and hope through the healing power of music. 4. “While performing, I see that people are able to forget their differences and join as one in the moment; my hope is for that moment to last.  If we can make that moment last, the world will be a better place.”

photo:  Sheryl Sinkow

The world-renowned musician Samite was born and raised in Uganda, where his grandfather taught him to play the traditional flute.

c. 1966 Samite (right)  with his cousin Masembe (left) and his brother Mbaba (center)

When he was twelve, a music teacher placed a western flute in his hands setting him on his way to becoming one of East Africa's 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. Samite immigrated to the United States in 1987, and now he and his wife Sandra make their home on their small horse farm in upstate New York.  

Photo:  Charles Evans, Jr.

When he is not touring, Samite finds inspiration from their horses, Shadow and Thyme, photography and woodworking.

Photo:  Sandra Mulondo

Today his smooth vocals accompanied by the kalimba, marimba, litungu, and various flutes mesmerize audiences throughout the world.

Samite has released nine CDs internationally and in 2009, the film Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, which features his original score, debuted nationally on PBS. Samite released My Music World, in 2010 and, as he states, the album captures more of who he is than any of his previous albums. "It represents influences from all the places I have been, from my childhood in Uganda, and my life in Kenya as a refugee, to my current travels in Africa with my work for Musicians for World Harmony. I am always inspired by my surroundings– my childhood hikes into the forest, my teenage years in Kampala, and my visits to refugee camps and orphanages." In 2012, Samite composed the soundtrack for the film Addiction Incorporated and his ninth CD, Trust {Inspired by the soundtrack for the film "Addiction Incorporated"} was  released in that year.  Samite has recently released his tenth CD, "Another Side of Me" (available on this website) and he is currently working on another CD to be released later this year.


Samite is the subject of the documentary, Song of the Refugee, distributed by PBS in 1998. It was while filming this that Samite's work as a humanitarian began. 

In 2002, he founded Musicians for World Harmony, an organization dedicated to enabling musicians throughout the world to share their music to promote peace, understanding, and harmony among people. In that capacity he travels to sing, play music, and exchange stories with victims of war, poverty and HIV/AIDS. 

He has traveled extensively the war-torn and distressed countries of Uganda, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Latvia, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire to work in refugee camps, with former child soldiers and AIDS orphans.

Photo:  Anthony Njeru

Photo:  Anthony Njeru

In his role as Founding Director of Musicians for World Harmony, Samite is fortunate to bring his message of peace to a wide audience. He performed his arrangement of the traditional Baganda song, Ani Oyo for The Dalai Lama in 2007 during Bridging Worlds with His Holiness The Dalia Lama in Ithaca, NY. In 2009 he performed at "Connecting For Change," part of the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit: Nobel Laureates in Dialogue, hosted by the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. 

Samite 2007 performance for the Dalai Lama.  photo Jon Reis.

In the fall of 2011, Samite performed and spoke at the UNHCR 60th Anniversary Celebration in New York City.

photo:  Charles Evans, Jr.

More recently Samite collaborated with the filmmakers of “Alive Inside,” an award-winning documentary on the power of music to awaken the memories locked away in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  This film and Samite’s subsequent place on Dr. Bill Thomas’ 2014 “Second Wind Tour,” have cemented the natural progression of the work that Samite does with Musicians for World Harmony.  This direction, of an increased focus on working with seniors and dementia patients, has evolved into the current collaboration between MWH and Dr. Bill Thomas for 2016 “Age of Disruption Tour.” 

Photo:  Dede Hatch

Photo:  Sheryl Sinkow 

The multiple rhythms are forceful but not domineering, and Samite’s melodies ride over and through them to create a soothing, almost lullaby-like effect. It’s modern African folk music...
— Los Angeles Times
When Samite translated his songs, their serenity seemed almost miraculous.
— New York Times
Samite wraps his warm voice around melodies that seem to rise up off the Ugandan plateau, caressed by his kalimbas and other native instruments.
— Billboard

Photo:  Mark Bentley

Organic, rootsy and yet highly sophisticated.
— Sing Out Magazine

Photo:  John Edman