LB MusicUNTOLD Event Featuring Nasambu & Piwai Long Beach Leader Newspaper 10-9-2014

by Dianne Anderson
Long Beach Leader Newspaper 10-9-2014


No matter where Nasambu performs, from her life as a musical traveler and Kenyan comes global mixed vibe she calls Afro Soul, with sounds inspired by familiar geopolitical realms that resonates deep in the Diaspora.

Like her band, The Mystic Nomads, her eclectic background embraces a range of influences from traditional African to Indian to classical to jazz fusion.

It’s all in the love of culture that is the main motivator that she hopes can help foster reflections on peace and understanding within the global community.

“I really wanted to capture the eclectic aspect of my musical background, to be able to explore different genres, even within the same album, to express really my own unique perspective on life,” she said.

With a variety of flavors in her repertoire and her “Activate Africa” album, which has seen good success, she incorporates cross-cultural appeal in Swahili, Spanish, Luhya and French. She has also recently received good support from the World Academy of Arts, Literature and Media to create a song about bullying.

On Saturday, November 15, 2014, she will perform a concert starting at 2:00 p.m. Sponsored by MusicUNTOLD in Long Beach, the event is free and open to the public at Manazar Gamboa Community Theater at McArthur Park.

While technology drives more access to music these days, streaming downloads and watching YouTube, she still prefers to make live music the old fashioned way, forget the techno-bop or artificial beats.

Both her love of culture and music is the motivator for what she hopes can help foster reflections on peace and understanding as the world opens up, both culturally, and technologically. These days, everything is usually just smart phone away, and most everyone everywhere has one.

“Technology makes the world become smaller and smaller, it’s so wonderful to see that we’re all in it together. The joy of the music really speaks to the spirit in ways that language can not,” she said.

Nasambu, who writes the songs and music, also performs the vocals, plays guitar and percussion. She will also perform with with Piwai from Zimbabwe and Acoustic Soul Music.

“We’re really coming together to bring a kind of unity and unify around sisterhood and the concept of storytelling. Getting down to the basic of acoustic live music,” she said.

The Long Beach venue is one of several of her gigs, drawing good cross cultural appeal. In the past, she’s performed the L.A. Folk Festival, and not long ago returned from the cosmopolitan and diverse Nairobi, where she performed earlier this year for about six months.

“The crowds that come out in Nairobi are very mixed, Asia, Europe and America. It’s nice to see that diversity in the people that appreciate the music and sounds,” she said.

Malveaux, president of the Central Area Association, said that the nonprofit arm, MusicUNTOLD is calling for more supporters to help fund their many projects through the year. Many local low income children get exposure for the first time in their lives through his premier events.

Throughout the year, they often get their first trips to culturally sophisticated places, such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Long Beach Symphony.

“Both of these sisters are brilliant young African women, they have their own band. Not only they are singer and songwriters, and musicians. They will accompany each other,” he said.

He said that Nasambu is a tremendous guitarist, with a quality and caliber reminiscent of Sade Adu.

“They will be doing this acoustic program and telling stories about their countries,” he said. “They are aware of not only what they’re trying to project musically, and other major subjects, such as Ebola, and [African conditions] through the world.”

While he has been strongly focused on the early African influence in traditional classical European music, he said that he is fascinated about how broad the influence stretches across the genres.

“In fact, all music may have its roots in Africa,” he said.

For more information, contact Mr. Malveaux at