ECA to Welcome Ladysmith Black Mambazo, 3/13

ECA to Welcome Ladysmith Black Mambazo, 3/13

Edmonds Center for the Arts welcomes Ladysmith Black Mambazo on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at the Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) Box Office (425)275-9595, or online at Tickets are $35, $40, $45 and $15 Youth/Students.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, led by founder and front man Joseph Shabalala, celebrates forty-six years of joyous and uplifting music that combines complex 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, 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.

The group borrows heavily from a traditional music called isicathamiya (is-cot-a-ME-Ya), which developed in the mines of South Africa, where black workers were taken by rail to work miles from their homes and their families. Poorly housed and paid worse, the mine workers would entertain themselves after a six-day week by singing songs into the wee hours on Sunday morning. When the miners returned to the homelands, this musical tradition returned with them.

In the mid-1980s, Paul Simon visited South Africa and incorporated Black Mambazo's rich harmonies into his Graceland album, a landmark 1986 recording that was considered decisive in introducing world music to mainstream audiences. Ladysmith Black Mambazo has also recorded with Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Dolly Parton, Ben Harper, and shared the stage with Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker Phil Collins, many others.

Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) is a non-profit performing arts facility located in picturesque downtown Edmonds, Washington. Housed in the historic original Edmonds High School building, ECA was remodeled and opened in October 2006 to be a cultural resource for the Puget Sound region through performing arts presentations, community partnerships and education outreach programs.