Double dose of Ladysmith

Shadows in the dining room

We saw Ladysmith Black Mambazo at Calvin College last night. What a great show! I’d heard them before, as most people have, on Paul Simon’s Graceland. But seeing them live is an entirely different experience.

Not only do they create beautiful, rhythmic melodies with their ten different voices, but they also wave, dance, hop, kick, march and use a lot of humor while singing their songs. I was expecting the rich, joyful music, but I wasn’t expecting to giggle while watching. Living in South Africa during apartheid, they’ve all experienced sadness, yet every one of their songs was uplifting, and their stage presence was cheerful and appreciative.

The opening act was African Acapella, a group of African students who attend Calvin. They were a lot of fun too and had a contingent of very supportive fans. The two groups got together at the end for a 19-voice rendition of a Ladysmith song. Ya gotta love WYCE for helping to bring music like this to Grand Rapids.

Bonus: When I turned the dial to NPR for the ride-to-work news, they had an in-studio interview/concert with Ladysmith, tying into the 10th anniversary of Mandella’s election.

5 thoughts on “Double dose of Ladysmith”

  1. The Chicago Children’s Choir is going to be performing with L.B.M. sometime in March, I think. A mix of them and children’s voices will be totally cool.

  2. Sounds like you had a good time but I’ve been waiting since friday for a new thought from you. Your biggest fan!

  3. Biggest fan, eh? Well, I’ll put something up today. I’ve been jet-setting for the past few days and haven’t been able to post. I’m sure you’ll be hanging on my every word!

  4. Nick, I’m sure you’ll have a great time singing with the group. And they seem like truly open and friendly people. Have fun!

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