Mrs. Matt Daddy and I observed Valentine's Day on Saturday by going out for a fine lunch and attending an evening concert. We had the pleasure of seeing the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and it was a fantastic evening. During the weeks leading up to the show, I kept telling people who I was going to see, and I kept getting the same question, "Who is Ladysmith Black Mambazo?"
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is one of those groups that you don't know that you know, but you definitely know them. Here are some videos to help you remember:
Didn't see that one back in the day? How about this?
Still not sure? Then you probably heard them on Paul Simon's famous work Graceland. Here is "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" from that album.
This is their most famous song ("Homeless") from Graceland. This is the current lineup that we saw live.
FROM THEIR BIO: "In addition to their work with Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded with numerous artists from around the world, including Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban,Dolly Parton, Ben Harper and many others. Their 2006 CD, "Long Walk To Freedom" had guest singers join them, such as Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Melissa Etheridge, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal and others. Their film work includes an appearance in Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker video and Spike Lee’s Do It A Cappella.They provided soundtrack material for Disney’s The Lion King, Part II as well as Eddie Murphy’s Coming To America, Clint Eastwood's Invictus, Marlon Brando’s A Dry White Season, Sean Connery’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen andJames Earl Jones’ Cry The Beloved Country. A film documentary titled On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps to Freedom, the story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, was nominated for an Academy Award. The group is also well known for its Life Savers candy commercials as well as adverts with Heinz Beans. Their performance with Paul Simon on Sesame Street is legendary and is one of the top three requested Sesame Street segments in history."
Their live performances are something special to experience. The stage is empty except for nine men and their microphones. No instruments. No special effects. Their harmonies are so tight that you can't tell who is singing what part. But they don't just sing. They also do traditional Zulu dances with leg kicks over their heads (some of the members are senior citizens!) all while singing incredible harmonies. It was one of the most unique concerts that I have ever attended. If you ever have the opportunity to see them, you should. Their most recent album Songs from a Zulu Farm was even nominated for a Grammy award this year.
One of the special things about Ladysmith Black Mambazo is that their leader (Joseph Shabalala) has four of his own sons in the group with him now. It is a special thing to have your child carry on a tradition that you love. How much fun would it be to take the stage with your children every night and share your family tradition with the world? I think that it is very important to show your children what you are passionate about. Don't keep your passions to yourself! Tell your kids why you love to do what you do, and when they are old enough, include them in that passion in some way. I play several instruments; my wife and I both sing. We sing songs with our daughter all the time, and hopefully, that will inspire a love of music in her that she will carry on to her children.
What passions do you share with your kids? What traditions do you share? Do you have a child that has carried on a passion of yours that you're proud of?