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Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the 60-year-old, five-time Grammy-award winning, South African choral group noted for singing with Paul Simon on his 1986 Graceland album, put on a memorable a cappella performance Jan. 28 at the Center for Humanities and Arts, University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College.

Before the concert, attendees mingled in the lobby and enjoyed purchased refreshments.

Proclaimed by the late Nelson Mandela to be "South Africa's Cultural Ambassadors to the World," Ladysmith Black Mambazo is known for singing in the traditional isicathamiya style, developed by black workers in South African mines, according to the group's webpage. The nine-member ensemble included four sons of the group's retired founder Joseph Shabalala.

With their distinctive, richly-blended harmony and sound effects that included their familiar tongue clicks, the men performed a generous collection of their songs. These included a tribute to Shabalala, as well as "Long Walk to Freedom," "Hello My Baby," "All Women Are Beautiful," and -- from the group's latest album, Songs of Lindiwe -- "Hear Our Prayer." Audience members were encouraged to try to sing along on one tongue-click-heavy number ... much to everyone's amusement.

The men of Ladysmith Black Mambazo were as much a pleasure to watch as they were to hear. Their oftentimes vigorous dance choreography was highlighted by impressively high kicks and jumps. At one point, several audience members were brought onstage to, well, try to keep up with the men's moves.

After the concert, three group members autographed copies of their CDs.

Gallery: Ladysmith Black Mambazo

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High Profile on 02/09/2020

Print Headline: South African singers perform at Pulaski Tech

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