South African singers Ladysmith Black Mambazo to play Grand Opera House

Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Heading to the Grand Opera House, York

LADYSMITH Black Mambazo’s October 29 concert at the Grand Opera House, York, will mark Black History Month.

During the 1970s and early 1980s, they established themselves as the most successful singing group in South Africa, whereupon Paul Simon incorporated the group’s harmonies into his ground-breaking 1986 album Graceland: a landmark recording that was seminal in introducing world music to mainstream audiences.

A year later, the American singer-songwriter produced Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s first worldwide release, Shaka Zulu, winner of a Grammy Award in 1988 for Best Folk Recording. 

Since then, the group has been awarded two more Grammy Awards for Raise Your Spirit Higher in 2004 and Ilembe in 2009 and has been nominated 15 times in all. 

Ladysmith Black Mambazo also have recorded with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Etheridge and Barnsley folk singer Kate Rusby.

Their film work includes an appearance in Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker video and Spike Lee’s Do It A Cappella. They have contributed to the soundtracks for Disney’s The Lion King Part II, Eddie Murphy’s Coming To America, Marlon Brando’s A Dry White Season, Sean Connery’s The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, James Earl Jones’s Cry The Beloved Country and Clint Eastwood’s Invictus.

The film documentary On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps To Freedom, the story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, was nominated for an Academy Award.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo have appeared on Broadway, being nominated for Tony Awards and winning a Drama Desk Award, and they have featured in The Family Guy and the film Mean Girls.

In 2014 they released Always With Us, a tribute to the group’s matriarch, Nellie Shabalala, Joseph Shabalala’s wife, who passed away in 2002. For the album, they added their voices to Nellie’s songs she had recorded with her church choir in 2001.

Tickets are on sale at £26.50 on 0844 871 7615 or at