The Legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Perform at DePauw University, March 5
On Sunday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m., the internationally beloved singing sensation Ladysmith Black Mambazo will fill DePauw University’s Kresge Auditorium with a glorious, spirit-lifting celebration of sound when it brings its joyous music to the Green Center stage — spreading its message of peace, love and harmony, along with a promise to carry forward founder Joseph Shabalala’s dream to “keep South Africa alive in people’s hearts” for years to come.
You may remember listening to Ladysmith while singing along (at the top of your lungs) on Paul Simon's seminal 1986 Graceland album or, if you are a bit younger, watching them over and over on Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker video. Fast forward four Grammy Awards, the irrepressible nine-member a cappella ensemble is now in its second generation and Thamsanqa “Tommy” Shabalala, the founder’s youngest son, is now its lead singer.
Included on Sunday's program for DePauw's 2016/17 Green Guest Artist Series will be a mix of Ladysmith’s arrangements of traditional Zulu melodies, along with popular songs for which the group is known, as well as new music from its latest CD, Walking in the Footsteps of Our Fathers, which was nominated for the 2017 Grammy for Best World Music Album. This latest recognition marks the African ensemble’s 17th Grammy Award nomination.
In addition to repeat work with Simon, among Ladysmith’s more than 50 albums are recordings with numerous artists from around the world, including Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris and Melissa Etheridge.
“It isn’t merely the grace and power of their dancing or the beauty of their singing that rivets the attention,” says Simon, “but the sheer joy and love that emanates from their being.”
Admission to hear Ladysmith Black Mambazo live at the Green Center is $15 in advance and $20 day of the event. Tickets are free to seniors, youth and all students thanks to season sponsors Judson and Joyce Green. Advance tickets may be obtained online at music.depauw.edu or in person at the venue box office, Monday–Friday from noon–4 p.m. and one hour prior to every performance. To ensure that anyone wanting to hear the concert is able to do so, a pay-what-you-can option is also available.