What do you get when you mix the intricacies of South African musical traditions with the sounds of gospel? You get a fragment of what Ladysmith Black Mambazo has to offer. At it for 50 years now, Ladysmith are the world’s preeminent isicathamiya practitioners. So successful were they in their native South Africa that they were eventually banned from competition. They might have lived out their days as the most esteemed musicians in the country. Then, in 1986, Graceland happened, catapulting Ladysmith onto the international stage, where they have remained ever since. They’ve won three Grammys, had multiple platinum records and appeared on Sesame Street. Now they travel the world as South Africa’s “cultural ambassadors,” as Nelson Mandela put it, teaching about the culture of their homeland. And, oh yeah: they sing.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Friday, March 12, 8 p.m.
Beckman Auditorium, Caltech
332 S. Michigan Ave., Pasadena
Tickets $35, $30, $25 / $10 youth
Call 626.395.4652 or visit events.caltech.edu