Ladysmith Black Mambazo (South Africa)
Ladysmith Black Mambazo marry the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native South African musical traditions to the sounds and sentiments of Christian gospel music. The result is a musical and spiritual alchemy that has touched a worldwide audience representing every corner of the religious, cultural and ethnic landscape. Their musical efforts have resulted in a discography of more than fifty recordings, garnering praise and accolades including fifteen Grammy Award nominations and four Grammy wins.
The traditional music sung by Ladysmith Black Mambazo is called Isicathamiya (is-cot-a-me-ya), which during the 1970s helped establish them as the most successful singing group in South Africa. In the mid-1980s, Paul Simon visited South Africa and incorporated the group’s rich tenor/alto/bass harmonies into his famous Graceland album – a landmark recording considered seminal in introducing world music to mainstream audiences. In addition to their work with Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo have recorded with numerous artists, including Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Etheridge, and many others. They provided film soundtrack singing for Disney’s The Lion King, Part II as well as Eddie Murphy’s Coming To America, Marlon Brando’s A Dry White Season and Clint Eastwood’s Invictus.
Over the past four decades, Ladysmith Black Mambazo have solidified their identity as a cultural force to be reckoned with, carrying a message of peace, love and harmony as they travel the world year after year, bringing this message in song and dance, to every place they perform.