October 25 at 7:00pm on KPJK TV
 
 
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South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo was assembled in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a young farmboy turned factory worker. Joseph took the name Ladysmith from his hometown, which lies in the province of kwaZulu Natal, halfway between the city of Durban (where members of the group live today) and Johannesburg. The word Black being a reference to the oxen, the strongest of all farm animals, Joseph's way of honoring his early life on his family's farm. Mambazo is the Zulu word for chopping axe, a symbol of the group’s vocal strength, clearing the way for their music and eventual success. Their philosophy in the studio was and continues to be just as much about preservation of musical heritage as it is about entertainment. The group borrows heavily from a traditional music called isicathamiya (is-cot-a-ME-Ya), which developed in the mines of South Africa, where black workers were taken by rail to work far away from their homes and their families. During the 1970's and early 1980's Ladysmith Black Mambazo established themselves as the most successful singing group in South Africa. In the mid-1980s, the American singer/songwriter Paul Simon famously visited South Africa and incorporated the group's rich tenor/alto/bass harmonies into his famous "Graceland" album – a landmark recording that was considered seminal in introducing world music to mainstream audiences. A favorite of the late great Nelson Mandela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo traveled with the future South African president, at his request, when he went to Oslo, Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. One year later they were singing at the inauguration of the newly elected President. After many more special appearances with the South African icon, Mandela proclaimed the group South Africa's Cultural Ambassadors to the World. Ladysmith Black Mambazo has been awarded five Grammy Awards, as well as seventeen Grammy Award nominations, more than any other World Music group in the history of the Awards. (In this episode of Live from the Freight & Salvage, the group learns mid-concert that they won their fifth Grammy: Best World Music Album of 2017.)

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