Sound/Style: multi-cultural vocal music addressing unity and spirituality
The sound of South Africa first reached a world audience through Paul Simon’s groundbreaking 1986 album, Graceland. Working directly with South African musicians, Simon flung wide the western gates for undiluted African music, most notably that of the vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The worldwide acclaim earned by Ladysmith Black Mambazo has come to another South African act, the Soweto Gospel Choir. The group, made up of formerly non-professional singers, was drawn from local churches in the South African townships collectively known as Soweto. Their enthusiastic performances, which include straightforward Christian sentiments, promote an emotionally appealing brand of cross-cultural unity that presents the Gospel as one facet of their overall entertainment package. The group’s third record, African Spirit, suggests that the Choir is perhaps best experienced onstage.