PULLMAN, Wash. — Academy, Grammy and Tony Award nominees, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, will perform at Washington State University’s Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 12.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo sings of life in South Africa incorporating its own style of traditional Zulu dancing into the concert. The 10-man chorus sings of faith, love and struggle.
The music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo was inspired by a dream its leader, Joseph Shabalala, had in 1964 in which he heard a group of children singing in an incomprehensible language. Critics report the group continues to imbue its music with a haunting, ethereal, dreamlike quality. Its seven bass voices and two of its three tenors lend close harmonies and subtle nuances that sound like one deep, rich, resonant and proud voice.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo sings its own disciplined version of the a cappella music — known as isicathamiya — about Zulu workers transplanted to South African mines and factories. The group has released more than 30 albums.
Though Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s music is rooted in contemporary South African culture — from its high kicking and step-stomping dances to its songs about conditions in the mines and apartheid — between numbers it often talks about the universality of its music and themes. Besides singing in English, French, Zulu and various African dialects and adding touches of doowop, gospel and reggae to its music, the group had more than enough vocal harmonies to back up its messages of universal harmony.
Tickets to the concert are $23.50 for adults and $19.50 for students and can be purchased by calling 800/325-SEAT.