Johnny Clegg & Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Play Van Wezel, 3/23
Not only are these artists wildly talented but their history of compassion and stand for social justice makes their exuberant performances all the more inspiring. Ladysmith Black Mambazo- a male a cappella group- celebrates over fifty years of joyous and uplifting music. The group assembled in the early 1960's relying heavily on the traditional music form, isicathamiya developed in the mines of South Africa. Their singing voices became so perfected that by the end of the 60s they were banned from entering competitions and were only welcome to participate as entertainers. Ladysmith Black Mambazo soon established themselves as the most successful singing group in South Africa, it was in the mid 1980's that Paul Simon incorporated the group on his "Graceland" album- which became a landmark recording!
Since the recording with Paul Simon, the group has recorded with numerous artists from around the world, they have received a string of awards including four Grammy's. Ladysmith Black Mambazo's philosophy is "just as much about preservation of musical heritage as it is about entertainment." The group sang at President Mandela's inauguration and his later birthdays. Nelson Mandela publically stated that Ladysmith Black Mambazo were "South Africa's cultural ambassadors."
Johnny Clegg with his vibrant blend of western pop and African Zulu rhythms also had close ties with Mr. Mandela, performing on all four of his Aids Awareness concerts in South Africa and Norway. Clegg's first music duo was subject to censorship and restrictions because of a ban on mixed race performances. Since then, he has broken many barriers selling over five million albums, winning a plethora of awards- for both his music and his outspoken views, and has wowed audiences worldwide with his audacious performances!