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Ladysmith Black Mambazo Comes to Dallas

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Tuesday August 07, 2018

From The Dallas Observer

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Is Coming To Dallas To Cool Us Down
By: Monica Smart

You are probably a fan of Ladysmith Black Mambazo but don’t know it. You may have heard them on recordings with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton or Josh Groban or singing on soundtracks for movies like The Lion King 2 or performing on Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker. You may have heard them when they sang on Paul Simon’s 1986 album Graceland. Or on one of their more than 50 recordings, four of which have won Grammys.

Founded in the 1960s, South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo is an a capella group performing isicathamiya, a harmony-focused style of traditional Zulu music that originated in the mines of South Africa. After having a series of dreams about the musical style, Joseph Shabalala formed a vocal group with several brothers and cousins. Their name combines the name of the city where Joseph grew up (Ladysmith) and the Zulu words for oxen (Black) and for ax (Mambazo), which is meant to represent the strength of the voices of the vocalists.

[…] Mazibuko sets the scene for a Ladysmith Black Mambazo show.“Nine microphones on stage, no drums,” he says. “We dress in colorful African shirts, black pants, white shoes, red socks, and we sing in vibrant four-part harmony that becomes six- or seven-part harmony. We tell jokes.” Mazibuko thanks Americans for supporting Ladysmith all of these years, and he invites Dallas to come and join them when they perform Aug. 16 at the Winspear Opera House. “When it is hot, our music cools you down and when it is cold our music warms you up,” Mazibuko says.

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