Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Ladysmith Black Mambazo


‘Ladysmith makes music so penetrating that you seem to absorb it with your whole being rather than just the ears.’ The New York Times

A South African institution, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has warmed the hearts of audiences worldwide with their uplifting vocal harmonies, signature dance moves and charming onstage banter. With a deep respect for both their cultural and personal history, Ladysmith Black Mambazo is ever-evolving with an eye toward their long musical legacy.

Over the years, the original members have welcomed a younger generation in their mission, passing along the tradition of storytelling and spreading their message of peace, love, and harmony to millions of people. The newer members, in turn, have infused the group with their youthful energy and the promise of a bright future. Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala looks to these young men to carry on his dream to “keep South Africa alive in people’s hearts” for years to come.

It wasn’t until 1986 that Ladysmith Black Mambazo broke through to a mass audience, as part of Paul Simon’s era-defining Graceland project. Since then, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has become known as a global ambassador for post-apartheid South Africa, accompanying the late South African president Nelson Mandela to Oslo, Norway for his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize. They have also been nominated for a stunning 13 Grammy Awards and won three, becoming a truly global phenomenon that has come to be synonymous with world music.

Their new album, Always With Us, is a tribute to the late wife of leader Joseph Shabalala, family matriarch Nellie Shabalala, who passed in 2002. The CD contains recordings Nellie made with her church choir, to which the group added their soaring voices in tribute to Nellie’s life and memory.

By arrangement with Arts Projects Australia and Adrian Bohm.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


Babuyile Shabalala, vocals
Msizi Shabalala, vocals
Thulani Shabalala, vocals
Sibongiseni Shabalala, vocals
Thamsanqa Shabalala, vocals
Albert Mazibuko, vocals
Abednego Mazibuko, vocals
Ngane Dlamini, vocals
Pius Shezi, vocals