Soweto Gospel Choir

NOV 29 • 7:30PM

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Tickets: $39, $35, $25 | Limit 8 tickets per billing address

Soweto Gospel Choir was formed to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music. The 43-strong choir, under the direction of Beverly Bryer, draws on the best talent from the many churches in and around Soweto. The choir is dedicated to sharing the joy of faith through music with audiences around the world.

With the release of Soweto Gospel Choir’s first recording, Voices from Heaven, in 2004 and its first international tour, the Choir exploded onto the international concert stage, playing prestigious venues on three continents. 2005’s Blessed earned the Choir their first Grammy Award which was followed by 2007’s African Spirit, which led to a second Grammy for the Choir. The choir also released a CD and DVD called Live at the Nelson Mandela Theatre in 2008 and in 2009. Soweto Gospel Choir became the first South African artist to perform at the Academy Awards, when they sang “Down To Earth,” the Peter Gabriel/Thomas Newman Oscar-nominated song, with John Legend. In 2010, the Choir released its Grammy nominated recording Grace and they collaborated with U2 for ESPN’s promotional campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup earning a sports Emmy for “Outstanding Music Composition/Direction/Lyrics.” 2013 saw the release of Divine Decade- Soweto Gospel Choir & Friends and commemorated the Choir’s 10th anniversary. It was a star-studded occasion being joined in celebration by the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Johnny Clegg among others.  In 2014, Soweto Gospel Choir was invited to perform at the Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela at Westminster Abbey. The Choir was also selected to sing at the memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 2018. In the spring they also performed with Chance the Rapper at his sold-out concert at The Dome in South Africa.

Soweto Gospel Choir’s story is the best of many worlds—great music, great achievements and recognition but also great contribution through its inspiring charity, Nikosi’s Haven Vukani, which assists the victims of AIDS and their families in South Africa. The Choir’s greatest achievement of all may be the fact that it has raised over $1,500,000 for its charity.  To date, over 9,000 children have been fed through registered organizations being supported by Vukani. Children’s school fees have been paid, orphans school uniforms have been purchased and appliances have been given in order to ease the load of women running soup kitchens to ensure that children receive at least two nutritional meals a day. Some of the additional resources the Choir has provided include security, electrical installations, plumbing, wheel chairs and school supplies.

The Choir’s presence on the international music scene is not regarded lightly by its Musical Director Diniloxolo Ndlakuse who concludes, “It means a great deal as a choir that we get to share our dance, our diverse cultures and faiths and our love for God to the world.  We hope to bring about a better understanding of South Africa by telling a story of where we come from, where we are and where we hope to be as a democratic nation.”

Presented by Count Basie Center for the Arts

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