Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Even if you know nothing about African music, you have most certainly heard the unique harmonic singing of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Over the last two decades, the group has become virtually synonymous with the music of South Africa. Their style has a purity that is lacking in most music; it is the sound of hope, peace and faith.
Originally formed in 1974 by Joseph Shabalala, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has released 40 albums. The group's central style of singing is a form of the "Isicathamiya," which is based on the social singing of Zulu mine workers. Under Shabalala's leadership, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has become the most popular Zulu vocal group in South Africa. Their first brush with international fame came in 1986 when they recorded with Paul Simon on his Grammy-winning album, "Graceland." Since that time, their music has been used in several commercials and they have recorded with a number of artists, including Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, George Clinton, the Wynans, Ben Harper and others.