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March 7: Grammy Award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the JLC

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Feb 14, 2020

South Africa’s legendary a capella singing group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, comes to the Mainstage Theatre of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts on the College of Lake County’s Grayslake Campus on Saturday, March 7 at 7 p.m. With their uplifting artistry and glorious harmonies, the group has mesmerized audiences worldwide.

Founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, Ladysmith Black Mambazo (pictured) marks its 60th Anniversary in 2020. With five Grammy Awards and more Grammy Award nominations (19 total) than any World Music group inPhoto of Ladysmith Black Mambazo the history of recorded music, the group remains authentic to its musical heritage, singing a traditional music style called isicathamiya (is-cot-a-ME-ya), developed in the mines of Africa.

During the dark years of South African Apartheid, the group followed a musical path of peaceful protest through their songs, spreading a message of peace, love and harmony. Upon his release from prison, at his 1993 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, Nelson Mandela asked Ladysmith Black Mambazo to join him, declaring the group “South Africa’s cultural ambassadors to the world.” In the mid-1980s, American singer/songwriter Paul Simon incorporated the group’s rich harmonies into his renowned “Graceland” album, a landmark recording considered seminal in introducing World Music to mainstream audiences and bringing Ladysmith Black Mambazo to the attention of music lovers all over the world.

After leading his group for more than 50 years, Shabalala retired in 2014, handing the leadership to his four sons, Thulani, Msizi, Sibongiseni and Thamsanqa. Sadly, Joseph Shabalala passed away this week at age 78. The Shabalala Family continues his legacy and success with the release of their newest album, “Songs from Lindiwe,” written for a stage production at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre featuring their music.

Single Tickets: $38/$32 for adults; $37/$31 for seniors, CLC staff and alumni; $15 for students and teens; and $10 for children. Prices do not include an additional $2 per ticket facility fee. Single tickets can be purchased at the JLC Box Office on the Grayslake Campus, Room P112, 19351 W. Washington St, and is open Monday-Friday, noon-5 p.m. Patrons can also call (847) 543-2300 (option 5). To purchase single tickets online and learn more about the JLC season, visit To purchase group tickets and request the 2019-20 James Lumber Center Professional Series brochure or the College of Lake County art, dance, film, literary, music and theatre events guide, call (847) 543-2300.


The remainder of the 2019-2020 JLC Professional Series includes the following events:

Switchback: Tuesday, March 17

Jazz Ambassadors/The United States Army Field Band: Saturday, March 28

The Four Bitchin’ Babes: Sunday, May 10


About College of Lake County:

The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.