The singer LYAMBIKO was born in the German state of Thuringia and grew up in a musically active family. Her grandfather was already a member of a jazz combo back in the 1930's, and her father sang in both a church choir and in jazz and world-music bands in his native Tanzania. As a child, LYAMBIKO took lessons on the saxophone and the clarinet and in classical singing, and played the tenor sax in her music school's big band. She was only 17 when she founded her first band as a singer (folk, pop and blues), and was the youngest entrant in a band contest where she won her first studio recording.
After a longer break from making music, LYAMBIKO moved to Berlin in 1999. As part of her preparations for the entrance exam for that city's College of Music she took singing and piano lessons, and rehearsed a small repertoire of jazz standards. Concerts in Berlin jazz clubs followed with different ensembles, and a regular spot in a guitar duo entitled "LYAMBIKO - Strange Fruit". Thanks to a recommendation from the singer Mark Murphy, LYAMBIKO had the chance to appear in the well-known club A-Trane in April 2000.
In April 2001 LYAMBIKO first gave her name to the successful quartet with which she then extended her concert activities to the rest of Germany, and later on to other European countries and to the USA. In 2003 the Boston Globe described LYAMBIKO as "the most promising vocalist jazz has seen in a long, long time". Two acclaimed CD's were released by Nagel/Heyer before the quartet signed with Sony BMG in 2005. These first two albums stayed in the top ten of the jazz charts for several weeks at a time, and after her move to the major label LYAMBIKO released her self-named CD, a "collection of beautiful jazz standards" and then with Love... and then "a sugar-free contemporary reflection on love" (Berliner Zeitung). Each of these two productions was awarded in Germany with the Jazz Award.
In February 2007 Sony BMG released LYAMBIKO's next album, Inner Sense, to which the singer contributed two songs from her own pen for the first time. Apart from two pop/rock covers, the album features solely original compositions, and was positively received by the press as a successful step towards musical independence: "LYAMBIKO exudes more charisma on 'Inner Sense' than ever before" (Jazzthing). In addition to her jazz projects, the singer with Tanzanian roots worked on a program of African music together with a youth choir for the first time in 2007.
February 2008 sees the release of her new CD Saffronia (Sony BMG). After five albums, LYAMBIKO now feels ready to bring out a tribute to Nina Simone, who inspired her in 2000 to embark on a career as a jazz singer.
After her tribute to Nina Simone, "Saffronia" (2008), which aroused the first substantial interest in the artist in France as well, Sony Music releases LYAMBIKO's new album "Something Like Reality" in June 2010.