South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center And Culture Shock Miami Present Grammy-Award Winner Ladysmith Black Mambazo

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South African A Cappella Group Makes Its Center Debut

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center and Culture Shock Miami copresent Ladysmith Black Mambazo, 4-time Grammy Award winning a capaella group from South Africa on Friday, February 26, 2016 at 8 PM at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center on the Main Stage.

The 55-year old company, founded by Joseph Shabalala, brings its special brand of uplifting vocal harmonies and signature dance moves to Cutler Bay. Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s reputation soared when the group collaborated with singer-songwriter Paul Simon on his groundbreaking album, Graceland. They are up for their 5th Grammy Award for Best World Music Album for Music From Inala.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo debuts at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center as part of the Center’s 5th Season.

Watch the Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s promotional video:

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.
$5 tickets for ages 13-22 exclusively at Full price Tickets through $25-$45 and $10 for Youth Tickets for 12 years old and under. These tickets are available online at or through the SMDCAC box office by calling 786-573-5300. $5 Culture Shock Miami tickets are not sold through the SMDCAC Box Office or through Culture Shock Miami ticket sales for this performance end on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 11:59 PM. No $5 tickets are available through the SMDCAC box office.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo – led by founder and leader JOSEPH SHABALALA – celebrates 55 years of joyous and uplifting music. Within this music are the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native South African musical traditions. In those years, the a cappella vocal group has created a musical and spiritual spirit that has touched a worldwide audience. Their musical efforts over the past five decades have garnered praise and accolades from a wide body of people, organizations and countries.

Assembled in the early 1960s in South Africa by Joseph, then a young farmboy turned factory worker, the group took the name Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Ladysmith is the name of Joseph’s hometown, about three hours west of Durban and 3 hours east of Johannesburg; Black being a reference to the oxen, the strongest of all farm animals; and Mambazo being the Zulu word for chopping axe, a symbol of the group’s ability to “chop down” any singing rival who might challenge them. Their collective voices were so tight and their harmonies so polished that by the end of the 1960's they were banned from competitions, although they were welcome to participate as entertainers.

A radio broadcast in 1970 opened the door to their first record contract – the beginning of an ambitious discography that currently includes more than fifty recordings. 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. Poorly housed and paid worse, the mine workers would entertain themselves after a six-day week by singing songs into the wee hours on Sunday morning. When the miners returned to the homelands, this musical tradition returned with them.

During the 1970s and early 1980s Ladysmith Black Mambazo established themselves as the most succesful singing group in South Africa. In the mid-1980s, Paul Simon 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 year later, Paul Simon produced Ladysmith Black Mambazo's first worldwide release, "Shaka Zulu", which won a Grammy Award in 1988 for Best Folk Recording. Since then, the group has been awarded two more Grammy Awards ("Raise Your Spirit Higher (2004) and "Ilembe (2009)") and has been nominated a total of fifteen times.

In addition to their work with Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded with numerous artists from around the world, including Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Etheridge,and many others. Their film work includes a featured appearance in Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker video and Spike Lee’s Do It A Cappella. They've provided soundtrack material for Disney’s The Lion King, Part II as well as Eddie Murphy’s Coming To America, Marlon Brando’s A Dry White Season, Sean Connery’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, James Earl Jones’ Cry The Beloved Country and Clint Eaastwood's Invictus. A film documentary titled On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps to Freedom, the story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, was nominated for an Academy Award. They have appeared on Broadway and have been nominated for Tony Awards and have won a Drama Desk Award. In more recent popular culture they have been part of such shows as The Family Guy & the movie Mean Girls ("But you LOVE Ladysmith Black Mambazo").

In 2013, the group released "Live: Singing For Peace Around The World" which is a collection of songs recorded during their World Tours of 2011 and 2012. It earned them their fourth Grammy Award as that year’s Best World Music CD. They now anticipate their fifth Grammy Award for 2016 Best World Music Album for Music From Inala.
ABOUT CULTURE SHOCK MIAMI ( http://www.CULTURESHOCKMIAMI.COM ), a program of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, provides an affordable and attractive way to encourage high school and college students ages 13-22 to buy tickets to the rich variety of cultural events. The program is designed to introduce this next generation of audience members to live arts and cultural experiences at the age when they are beginning to make their own decisions about entertainment options. Based on research that shows most people begin their appreciation for the arts at a young age, is founded on the premise that when kids make the arts a regular entertainment choice, they are more likely to become the full-price ticket buyers and subscribers of the future.’s Program Partners include African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, Miami-Dade County Auditorium, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center,, the Miami-Dade County Public School System, local arts organizations, and area colleges and universities.

Throughout the year, many Miami-Dade museums and cultural sites make two-for-$5 admission passes available to visitors. They include The Wolfsonian, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Perez Art Museum Miami, HistoryMiami, ZooMiami, Bass Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, and many more.

Culture Shock Miami was inaugurated in 2005-06 by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with a generous grant from The John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. Since then, it has sold over 60,000 tickets through its website A core group of arts organizations participate regularly in the program, including Actors' Playhouse, Adrienne Arsht Center, Cleveland Orchestra Miami, Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet, New World Symphony, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and ZooMiami. The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council develop cultural excellence, diversity and participation throughout Miami-Dade County by strategically creating and promoting opportunities for artists and cultural organizations, and our residents and visitors who are their audiences. The Department directs the Art in Public Places program and serves its board, the Art in Public Places Trust, commissioning, curating, maintaining and promoting the County’s art collection. The Department also manages, programs and operates the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, a campus of state-of-the-art cultural facilities in Cutler Bay, as well as Miami-Dade County Auditorium, Joseph Caleb Auditorium and the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, all dedicated to presenting and supporting excellence in the arts for the entire community. Through staff, board and programmatic resources, the Department, the Council and the Trust promote, coordinate and support Miami-Dade County’s more than 1,000 not-for-profit cultural organizations as well as thousands of resident artists through grants, technical assistance, public information and interactive community planning. The Department receives funding through the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, The Children’s Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida through the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Other support and services are provided by TicketWeb for the Culture Shock Miami program, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the South Florida Cultural Consortium and the Tourist Development Council.


The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, designed by an internationally-acclaimed design team that includes Arquitectonica International, Inc. (architects), Fisher Dachs Associates, Inc. (theater design), Artec Consultants, Inc. (acoustics), and AMS Planning & Research Corp. (theater management), provides, for the first time, a state-of-the-art cultural venue and community gathering place in the southern part of Miami-Dade County. Located at 10950 SW 211th Street in Cutler Bay, the Center is an integral part of the economic and cultural development of the area, offering quality artistic programming and community accessibility. The Center features prominent works of art created by Miami artist Robert Chambers who was commissioned by Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places program to design a kinetic light wall and sculptures for the theater.

The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center is managed by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with funding support from the Office of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. The Center is dedicated to presenting and supporting arts and culture and providing access to the arts to the entire Miami-Dade County community. More information about the Center and its programs can be found at

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Stephen Belth

Christina Tassy-Beauvoir
Arts Marketing Network
since: 12/2011
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