About This Concert:
Join us for an uplifting Sommerfest performance by global a cappella phenomenon Ladysmith Black Mambazo, whose inspiring songs of social justice, hope and joy radiate the vital spirit of the South African people.
- The a cappella ensemble’s performance with Paul Simon on Graceland (1986) catapulted the ensemble on the world stage; this group has remained in the spotlight ever since.
- In addition to their working with Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris and Melissa Etheridge, among others.
- An inspiration to Nelson Mandela while he was a political prisoner in South Africa, Ladysmith Black Mambazo performed at his 1994 inauguration as the country’s first post-apartheid president.
- The group’s sound traces its roots to the tradition of isicathamiya (pronounced is-cot-a-ME-ya), a singing style created by South African mine workers.
- Ladysmith Black Mambazo is named for its hometown and the Zulu word for “axe.”
- According to the Huffington Post “Ladysmith Black Mambazo may be an institution, but it’s a vibrant, high-stepping institution that shows no signs of slowing down.”
- The Los Angeles Times credits the group’s “creative discipline and good spirits” as an inspiration in “helping South Africa complete its transition from racist tyranny to equal-rights democracy with joy.”
- “It isn’t merely …the power of their dancing or the beauty of their singing that rivets the attention,” praises Paul Simon, “but the sheer joy and love that emanates from their being.”
Please note: the Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program.