From the South Western Townships of South Africa known as Soweto, a region which is said to represent black African life, originates the Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir. In 2008, this 26-member gospel vocal powerhouse brings us, to goose bump proportions, African Spirit. This is a tour de musical force, which celebrates the human spirit, offers upliftment, praises God, and provides soul soothing rhythm.
The energetic repertoire is comprised of Zulu and Sotho traditional songs as well as the more well known, Bob Dylan’s ‘I’ll Remember You’, ‘O Happy Day’ and ‘Amazing Grace’ with exceptional solos from choir leader and falsetto wonder, Shimmy Jiyane, the pure sounding, Zanele Mkhwanazi and the gutsy, Sibongile Makgathe. In every instance, the vocal blends and harmonies are sophisticated and humbling.
Infectious is the verve and passion with which the members sway, clap, ululate, kick sky high to the drumming heartbeat of each song whether played on bongos, guitar or in one piece, on plates, glasses and a table in the canteen setting. Beautiful and sincere is the camaraderie and respect among the performers, traditionally dressed in an array of primary colors, the female accessorized with beads, bangles and turbans.
And they are also charitable having formed their own foundation in 2004, ‘Nkosi’s Haven Vukani’ to assist HIV/AIDS infected mothers, children and resulting AIDS orphans. Directed by, among others, Beverly Bryer and David Mulovhedzi, Soweto Gospel Choir is a slice of musical heaven.
HVK Productions presents
African Spirit: Soweto Gospel Choir
Venue: the Arts Centre | Hamer Hall
Dates/Times: 17 May 4pm & 8pm & 18 May 3pm
Tickets: $89 - $30