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Wanda's Picks Radio Show Ladysmith Black Mambazo

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We speak to Albert Mazibuko about Ladysmith Black Mambazo – led by founder and leader Joseph Shabalala – which this year celebrates over fifty years of joyous and uplifting music that marries the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native South African musical traditions to the sounds and sentiments of Christian gospel music. In those years, the a cappella vocal group has created a musical and spiritual alchemy that has touched a worldwide audience representing every corner of the religious, cultural and ethnic landscape. Their musical efforts over the past five decades have garnered praise and accolades within the recording industry, but also solidified their identity as a cultural force to be reckoned with. Assembled in the early 1960s in South Africa by Shabalala – then a young farmboy turned factory worker – the group took the name Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Ladysmith being the name of Shabalala’s rural hometown; Black being a reference to oxen, the strongest of all farm animals; and Mambazo being the Zulu word for axe, a symbol of the group’s ability to “chop down” any singing rival who might challenge them. In late 2013, the group will release "Stories and Songs From A Zulu Farm" in which they've created a narrative story to join with their recent songs for children to better understand life on a Zulu Farm. This will be their first children's cd since the 1990's. They will also release a Live cd called "Singing For Peace Around The World" in early 2013. Later they will release a new traditional Zulu cd in 2014 and an all English American Gospel recording with a famous American singer. From http://www.mambazo.com/