comes from a Tanzanian family with a traditional musical heritage.
While growing up in Tanzania, Saidi learnt to play many traditional
instruments of the Ndengeleko and Manyema people. He learnt
these from his grandmother who played the mbira, his mother
who was a singer, and traditional drummers. At school he led
the drumming group during celebrations and also learnt more
at a Catholic mission and he became well-known for his skills.
In his teens, Saidi played in several
different bands, including Orchestra Kizibo and Biashara Jazz
Band in Dar es Salaam and then joined one of Tanzania's most
famous bands, Remmy Ongala's Super Matimila in 1981. After some
years this gave Saidi the opportunity for international travel
as the band toured USA and Europe with WOMAD. His great talents
were recognised as he was awarded WOMAD Percussionist of the
Year in 1989.
Saidi has been based in Britain since
1990, residing first in London and then Brighton. He is a founder
member of Orchestra Baboma who have toured Britain extensively.
Saidi was a part of Mose
Fan Fan's Somo Somo when they toured Britain in 1997 and,
in 2001, toured with Santana
Viva Congolia (see photo). Also Saidi has been closely involved
with Dade Krama's West African
Folklore Project. In addition, Saidi leads percussion and traditional
music workshops and performs solo. For example he has appeared
on Children's ITV and Sky TV, demonstrating the traditional
music of Tanzania.
As far as recordings are concerned, of
course he features as a drummer and composer on many of the
CDs by the bands he has played in, such as Dade Krama's inspiring
Ancestral Dance. His own CDs include Jumannes go Rhumba.
You can be sure he is working on more recordings!