Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Tickets: A: $45 B: $30
“It isn’t merely the grace and power of their dancing or the beauty of their singing that rivets the attention, but the sheer joy and love that emanates from their being.” -Paul Simon
The Grammy Award-winning acappella ensemble, Ladysmith Black Mambazo captures South Africa’s historic struggle in an inspiring repertoire that melds the tradition of Zulu harmony, singing songs born in the mines during the apartheid era, with hints of gospel. Whether performing at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration, in Disney’s The Lion King, or alongside Paul Simon on his album Graceland, Ladysmith Black Mambazo creates beautiful harmonies that have brought its unique sound to international prominence. The rich uplifting sounds and effortlessly synchronized dancing convey universal themes of faith, hope and peace, yielding a performance of pure, uninhibited joy.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo was founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a teenage farm boy living on the lands just outside the small town of Ladysmith, South Africa. Joseph incorporated the town into the name he would give his group to honor his family history. As well, the word Black is a reference to the black oxen, the strongest of all farm animals; and Mambazo, the Zulu word for chopping axe, a symbol of the group’s ability to “chop down” any singing rival who might challenge them. So began the fifty-plus year career of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s most recent CD, Walking In The Footsteps Of Our Fathers, was nominated for Best World Music Album of 2016, marking the the group’s 17th Grammy Award-nomination, in addition to its four wins.