World Music Features    Soweto Gospel Choir    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music


World Music Features    Soweto Gospel Choir    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
nancymitchell

Search

WORLD MUSIC NEWS
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC Profiles
  Artist Features
  World Music Legends
  Reggae Legends
  African Legends
Live Music Events
  World Music Concerts
  World Music Festivals
  World Music Clubs
Global Lifestile
  Travel
  Food
  Film
reviews
  Books
  DVD
  Live Music
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC CD ReVIEW
  Africa
  Asia & Far East
  Australia & Oceania
  Celtic & Irish
  Electronica
  Europe
  Greater Latin America
  Jazz
  Middle East & North Africa
  New Age & Avant Garde
  North American
  Reggae & Caribbean
  South Asia
  World Fusion
WORLD MUSIC links
back issues
 

Deutsch
Franais
Espa ol
Italiano
Portuguese
Japanese
Chinese





World Music Features

Print Page
E-mail to Friend E-mail to Editor
Soweto Gospel Choir
By Jeff Tamarkin

Published May 4, 2006

The issue of faith has certainly been in the news recently: who’s got it, who doesn’t, and what role the belief in a higher authority should play in our culture. But even the most skeptical of atheists would have difficulty not being elevated to a state of rapturous euphoria by the sound of Soweto Gospel Choir. The 32-member-strong ensemble may draw its inspiration from above, but it’s down here on terra firma that this South African bundle of joy is spreading its good news via its stunning new CD, Voices From Heaven (Shanachie), and a 35-city American tour beginning in late January and running till the end of March (see Tours, page 52, for details).

            The choir is little more than two years old, created by musical director David Mulovhedzi, who borrowed members of various Soweto congregations as well as his own Holy Jerusalem Choir—one singer was even recruited after appearing on the South African equivalent of Star Search. Decked out in strikingly colorful traditional clothing, and augmenting its exquisite, luxuriant group harmony and steamy solo vocalizing with eye-grabbing dance routines, the choir was an immediate hit. One notable gig found them performing in front of Nelson Mandela and 26,000 others at a fundraising concert in Cape Town and another brought them to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the U.K., where one local TV station dubbed the choir the “surprise hit” of the event.

            Voices From Heaven is a floor-raising triumph from top to bottom, its 16 tracks sung in eight languages (six of them the official tongues of their homeland) and spotlighting a number of soloists from within the ranks. Traditional South African acappella in the style of Ladysmith Black Mambazo gives way to uptempo township jive-style rousers and jubilant ballads. Among the English-language covers is a medley of Jimmy Cliff’s classic “Many Rivers To Cross” tied to the gospel standards “Going Down To Jordan” and “Amen,” and an “Amazing Grace” like no other.

            Soweto Gospel Choir isn’t only about raising their voices in song, however. The choir has established a charity foundation in association with the AIDS-fighting Nkosi’s Haven/Vukani project, aimed at assisting AIDS-orphan establishments that receive no government funding. The choir has already put significant money into the organization’s coffers, enabling the purchase of food and other essential goods. Now, that’s the spirit.

RSS Feeds

ADVERTISING LINKS

Gnaoua Festtival
Quincy Jones Eagle Rock
Lawson Sideblock
Globe Trekker 120 150
emusicsideblock

GoNomad
sonicbids

Contact us | Press Room | Contests | About Global Rhythm magazine | Advertise / Media Kit
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use
| Global Rhythm Contributors | Link to Us | Back Issues

Copyright © 2008 Zenbu Media. All rights reserved.

Powered by Ecomsolutions.net