In a world where having the word “black” in your band’s name conjures up an aura of toughness, roughness and gruffness, Ladysmith Black Mambazo are in fact one of the most hopeful and illuminating groups ever to dispel darkness with light. When you also find out that mambazo is the Zulu word for ax — because they were just cutting down other choral groups left and right in the ’60s — well, all right, so they’re a little tough. But just a little! Blessed with pure melodies, unbeatable harmonies and a joyous rhythmic sensibility unequaled in our lifetime, they’ve performed for kings and dignitaries the world over and even collaborated with Paul Simon (but don’t hold that against them). Think of tonight not so much as going to a concert as it is the night that you give yourself something genuinely good.
NOTE: Due to the passing of founding member Joseph Shabalala, Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s show has been moved from Thursday, February 20 to Thursday, March 19 at Royce Hall.