The neck of my Guitar

Ladysmith Black Mambazo


Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a chorus from South Africa that is noted for singing a cappella isicathamiya and mbube music. They rose to worldwide prominence as a result of singing with Paul Simon on his album, Graceland. They were formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1960 and became one of South Africa´s prolific recording artists.

Joseph Shabalala wrote the lyrics for ´Homeless´, which was the first song the group recorded together with Paul Simon. Later Simon has add only the english lyrics. An attempt of his early try to imitate the groups sound can be heard on the bonus tracks of Graceland. Another prominent song together with the group is ´Diamonds on the soles of her shoes´, Joseph again wrote the intro part to that one.

Over the past 45 years the band had about 30 members, most are relatives or friends of Joseph Shabalala who is the front man and singer. The band is touring international since they worked together with Simon, but they still live in South Africa - a dangerous country till today. Many band members including 2 of Josephs brothers and even his wife have been killed there. The death of Headman Shabalala in 1991 even brought Paul Simon to a press conference in South Africa, who considered it as a racial killing, having tears in his eyes.

Joseph and Paul are very close friends, the last time they performed together was in 2002 to celebrate Muhammad Alis birthday. In 2006 Joseph told the press that he wishes to work again with Paul Simon in the next years.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo appeard on the following albums:
Rhythm of the Saints

Ladysmith Black Mambazo played on the following tour(s)

Graceland 2012 tour

Event of a lifetime tour

Graceland 1989 tour

Graceland 1987 tour