FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Show Publicist: Diana Roth, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Other Contact: Shaunda Miles, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
THE PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST ANNOUNCES
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
SOUTH AFRICA’S GRAMMY® AWARD-WINNING
A CAPELLA GROUP WILL PERFORM IN PITTSBURGH
January 29, 2014 │8:00 p.m. │ Byham Theater
PITTSBURGH, PA - Grammy® award-winning South African a cappella group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, will perform traditional songs and gospel inspired music of peace, love and harmony, at the Byham Theater on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at 8:00 p.m. Ticket prices start at $24. For information, visit www.TrustArts.org, call (412) 456-6666, or visit in person at the Theater Square Box Office, located at 655 Penn Avenue. This event is part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo – led by founder and leader Joseph Shabalala – celebrates over 50 years of performing their joyous and uplifting music that marries the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native South African musical traditions to the sounds and sentiments of Christian gospel music. In those years, the a cappella vocal group has created a musical and spiritual alchemy that has touched a worldwide audience representing every corner of the religious, cultural and ethnic landscape. The group’s musical efforts over the past five decades have garnered praise and accolades within the recording industry, as well as solidified their identity as a cultural force. Ladysmith Black Mambazo has performed at many special occasions, including two Nobel Peace Prize Ceremonies, a concert for Pope John Paul II in Rome, the South African Presidential inaugurations, and the 1996 Summer Olympics. In 2002, the group was asked to represent their nation in London at a celebration for Queen Elizabeth’s 50th Anniversary as Monarch.
Assembled in the early 1960s in South Africa by Shabalala – then a young farmboy turned factory worker – the group took the name Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Ladysmith being the name of Shabalala’s rural hometown; Black being a reference to oxen, the strongest of all farm animals; and Mambazo being the Zulu word for axe, a symbol of the group’s ability to “chop down” any singing rival who might challenge them. The group has recorded with a number of artists, including Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Etheridge, and many others. They've provided soundtrack material for Disney’s The Lion King, Part II as well as Eddie Murphy’s Coming To America, A Dry White Season starring Marlon Brando, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen starring Sean Connery, Cry The Beloved Country starring James Earl Jones and Clint Eastwood's Invictus. A film documentary titled On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps to Freedom, the story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, was nominated for an Academy Award.
The group has released various recordings over their long career. Of note, Songs from a Zulu Farm, released in 2011, is a collection of traditional tunes from their youth in South Africa.
In 2013, a collection of live recordings, Ladysmith Black Mambazo Singing for Peace Live Around the World has been nominated for a Grammy Award, Best World Music category, and is dedicated to the late Nelson Mandela and his mission of peace. The final award announcements take place in late January 2014.
The group’s mid-January 2014 release, Ladysmith Black Mambazo Always With Us, honors the late Nellie Shabalala, group matriarch and wife of ‘Ladysmith’ founder-leader Joseph Shabalala. This recording mixes the group’s voices with vocals of Nellie Shabalala and her church choir. It is the first album in their over forty year recording history to feature female Zulu vocalists singing traditional songs.
For more information, visit www.mambazo.com.
ABOUT THE PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.
Photo Credit: Luis Leal