Morri Natti, professionally known as Simba Morri, is a South African musician and producer of Kenyan origin. He came to South Africa as a scholar and he studied Anthropology at the University of Witwatersrand before turning full time to pursue music. He became a regular performer as part of the band Mapantsula at political gatherings, cultural events, and fundraising concerts. Together with groups such as the original Bayete, Mango Groove, Malombo, and the African Jazz pioneers, Simba Morri was part of an alternative Music scene inside South Africa during the 1980s. Significantly, his music added a valuable pan-African dimension at a time when South Africa was culturally and politically isolated from the rest of the world.
Soon Morri was collaborating on stage with Mzwakhe Mbuli, The people’s poet. In 1986 he recorded his debut album “Wasamata” (Featuring Mozambican musician Gito Baloi on Bass and backing vocals. Both Morri and Gito also contributed composition, guitars, and vocals to Mzwakhe debut albums, “Change is pain” and “Unbroken spirit”. Morri’s participation in development projects is extensive and includes an ongoing association as an educator/consultant with cultural institutions and music departments in universities around the country.
In 1994, he was invited to perform at the “Out of Africa “ Arts festival – in Seoul, South Korea. During 1995-1996 two of Morri’s songs -“Unity” and “Celebrating Life / Siyajabula” were used by the South African Broadcasting Corporation elections unit as part of the voter motivation campaign.
On the live performance front, He maintained a high profile on the alternative music scene and the cultural circuit with occasional shows at the Market, Playhouse, and Baxter theatres, in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. 1996 saw him supporting Crosby, Stills & Nash for their Johannesburg concert, and also record the “Celebrating Life” album. In 1997 he performed at the Fin de Siecle Festival in Nantes and Paris, France.
Mild-mannered and humble, this non-smoker and non-drinker is a wonderfully warm and radiant spiritual Troubadour. Fluent in his native Maasai, Morri is also comfortable conversing in Swahili, English, Zulu, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Sotho, Nyanja, Shona, etc. He has performed in most of the SADC countries with regular visits to Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Zambia.
A true exponent of African / world music, Morri collaborates with artists from all over the world, introducing them to South African audiences, whilst he gets invitations to perform and conduct workshops abroad in France, Holland, UK. and the Far East.
Morri has recorded two albums. He has contributed to a number of projects either as a musician, producer, or musical director. Morri is also the founder of an Artistic foundation (A music, Arts, Culture affinity).
He is truly a unique, versatile and flexible artist, capable of playing a variety of musical styles and singing in many different languages, from his original African / world music to Jazz-Blues, Latino & standards.
(Released by 3rd Ear Music)