Concerts

Enjoy the harmonies of Ladysmith Black Mambazo

The a capella group from South Africa is set to take the Somerville Theatre stage Jan. 28.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Luis Leal

They’ve been around for decades, have won Grammys, and famously appeared on Paul Simon’s celebrated 1986 album “Graceland.”

Now, Ladysmith Black Mambazo is ready to bring its Zulu-style of a capella and mbube to Somerville Theatre on Jan. 28.

The group has deviated from its a capella at times, and has collaborated with a wide array of performers, including Dolly Parton, according to NPR. The radio station was reviewing the group’s 2014 album “Always with Us,” an album that included Christian choral music and is about religion.

“With Ladysmith Black Mambazo, reverence never means sadness or melancholy,” Banning Eyre of NPR said at the time. “Theirs is among the most distinctive and uplifting choral sounds around. And hats off to them for coming up with a creative and heartfelt way to make it fresh.”

Back in March 2020, the group played Royce Hall UCLA; the show was recorded by UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance.

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March 2020, as you may recall, was right on the edge of the COVID-19 lockdown, and the reviewer noted that the show was probably the last one he’d see in a while. The group was also dealing with the death of founder Joseph Shabalala.

“As I sat there watching, it was like a dreamy send-off to the context of ‘Safer at Home,’” the reviewer wrote.

“I also thought it commendable that the founder’s three sons — all of them frontmen — didn’t mention their father’s recent passing,” Tony Frankel wrote. “It was clear his joy continued to exist in the living. This may be a good thought for the future.”

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