Ladysmith Black Mambazo

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo
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Musical Instrument Museum - MIM says
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, led by founder and leader Joseph Shabalala, celebrates over fifty years of joyous and uplifting music that marries the intricate rhythms and harmonies of the ensemble’s native South African musical traditions to the sounds and sentiments of gospel music. In those years, the a cappella choral group has created a musical and spiritual alchemy that has touched a worldwide audience representing every corner of the religious, cultural, and ethnic landscape. The singers’ musical efforts over the past five decades have garnered praise and accolades within the recording industry, but also solidified their identity as a cultural force to be reckoned with.

They became world-famous when the American singer-songwriter Paul Simon collaborated with them to make his groundbreaking album Graceland. A year later, Simon produced Black Mambazo’s first U.S. release, Shaka Zulu, which won a GRAMMY Award in 1988. Since then, the group has been awarded multiple GRAMMY Awards and has been nominated more than fifteen times.

In addition to their work with Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded with numerous artists from around the world, including Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Etheridge, and many others. Their film work includes a featured appearance in Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker video and Spike Lee’s Do It A Cappella. They have provided soundtrack material for Disney’s The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride; Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America; Marlon Brando’s A Dry White Season; Sean Connery’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; James Earl Jones’s Cry, the Beloved Country; and Clint Eastwood’s Invictus. A film documentary titled On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom, which tells the story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000.
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By: Musical Instrument Museum - MIM

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