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Tuesday, February 11, 2014- 7:30pm Tickets: $27 Adults, $24 Seniors & Students
South African acapella legends
Nominated sixteen times for the Grammy awards, South African acapella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, led by founder and leader Joseph Shabalala – celebrates over fifty years of joyous and uplifting music that marries the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native South African musical traditions to the sounds and sentiments of Christian gospel music.
Assembled in the early 1960s in South Africa by Shabalala – then a young farm boy turned factory worker – the group took the name Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Ladysmith being the name of Shabalala's rural hometown; Black being a reference to oxen, the strongest of all farm animals; and Mambazo being the Zulu word for axe, a symbol of the group’s ability to "chop down" any singing rival who might challenge them.
Paul Simon visited South Africa in the 1980s and incorporated Black Mambazo's rich tenor/alto/bass harmonies into his Graceland album – a landmark 1986 recording that was considered seminal in introducing world music to mainstream audiences.
Since that time they have maintained a respect and a reverence for their past. The centuries-old story of their homeland – sometimes joyous, sometimes troubled, but always rich and exhilarating – has been at the very foundation of this vocal group since its very beginning. But alongside the South African history witnessed by an entire world, there's a quieter, more personal past shared by the members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo – a time of youth and innocence, when the world consisted of nothing more than the hills and open fields of their parents' farms in Zulu country.
We are pleased to welcome the most widely known acapella group in the world back to our stage since they first visited us in 2006.