Music is but half the story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Grammy-winning a cappella group that merges South African music and dance traditions with Christian messages of compassion. Equally important, the band combines choreographed movements along with their brilliant vocal harmonies to tell stories of love through music Simply put, Ladysmith Black Mambazo is an act that must be seen to be understood.
After more than three decades of international prominence, these icons of South African music are releasing a DVD, Ladysmith Black Mambazo Live. Recorded in Akron, Ohio, in 2008, the 14-song set captures the band at their best, musically and visually. The DVD also includes 40 minutes of in-depth interviews with founder, leader and musical director Joseph Shabalala, who takes the viewer through the history of the group, beginning with his early days in the late 1950s as a South African factory worker with musical aspirations. Interviews with other members highlight the band’s generational cross-section by introducing the younger members that have joined the ranks in recent years.
The thematic elements in Mambazo’s music are universal, captivating audiences in all parts of the globe, with stories steeped in tradition of taking care of yourself, reminding people to work very hard, and they can enjoy the gifts and love life has to offer. In spreading this message around the world, Ladysmith Black Mambazo Live is a treasure that can be enjoyed by all.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo Live will be released January 27 on Heads Up.