By Dennis Kabatto – Revered South Africa’s choral group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo held Brooklyn College, New York in a total musical lockdown Saturday as they celebrated the Center for the Performing Arts 60th Anniversary Season.
During the two-hour set, they shared songs from their 2014 Grammy Award winning CD “Singing for Peace around the World”.
Although the distinctive tenor voice of former leader and founder Joseph Shabalala who retired last year was inaudibly missing, still, the nine man group held on to their own belting out intense, complex, traditional Zulu rhythms and harmonies in acapella style.
After intermission, they displayed more intensity and highlighted flawless dance moves with their trademark white tennis shoes during the performance of “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes,” and bedazzled the mostly affluent and awestruck fans with the popular hit song “Homeless.”
The formation of Ladysmith Black Mambazo was prophetic in that the vision to form the group was revealed in a dream to founder Professor Joseph Shabala said Albert Mazibuko, a Mambazo member since 1969 and the person who has done all of the group’s interviews for the past ten years.
“His aim was to have something that was going to lift the spirit of the people because at that time in South Africa, things weren’t good for some people you know. Therefore, Shabalala said if we could get something that is going to encourage the people to come together and see that there is still a future in everything. So that was the purpose of forming this group,” Mazibuko told Pacifica Network Radio Station, WBAI, 99.5 FM listeners during an interview on the Thursday’s edition of the popular Morning Show.
The group was very excited to return to the Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts last Saturday night, said Mitch Goldstein, Mambazo’s road manager in a statement.
That was “their third time performing there, and it is Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s only New York City area show this year. The group loves performing for a NYC crowd,” Goldstein noted.
The next stop on Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s USA Tour itinerary is Mt. Baker Theatre Center in Bellingham, Washington State for two night performances on Thursday and Friday respectively, followed by Oregon, California and culminates in Scottsdale, Arizona on Sunday, March 15, 2015.