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Arts & Culture

Ladysmith Black Mambazo - 50 Years Of Peace And Love


“If you try to solve a problem by a problem, it will never be solved,” says Albert Mazibuko, who has been a full-time member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo since 1973.

The ever-evolving vocal group is a South African institution - but their songs of peace, love and understanding have also left a vast footprint in American music history.

Their traditional singing style, known as isicathamiya (is-cot-a-ME-Ya), was developed in the mines of South Africa and rose to prominence in America through Paul Simon’s Graceland and the Lion King soundtrack.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo won their fourth Grammy last year with Singing For Peace Around the World and is currently celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Bruce Winter spoke with Mazibuko about the origins of their a capella sound and their message of peace.

“If we put peace in ourselves and encourage other people to be in peace, step by step maybe the whole world will be in peace,” says Mazibuko. “It’s the only way we can live better in this lifetime.”

Ladysmith Black Mambazo performs at the Pabst Theater Sunday, February 15th.