UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) presents Soweto Gospel Choir Wednesday, Nov. 2 at Campbell Hall. Brimming with energy and transcendent harmonies, the three-time Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir is known for its ensemble flair and indomitable spirit.
Commemorating South Africa’s Freedom Movement and the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S., the choir will perform South African gospel and spirituals in a variety of languages, and heartfelt renditions of songs made famous by Billie Holiday, James Brown, Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield and Aretha Franklin.
Hailing from Soweto (South West Township), a town outside of Johannesburg and home of Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s democratic movement, Soweto Gospel Choir continues to inspire audiences worldwide with their blend of African gospel, freedom songs and international classics.
Comprising a line-up of some of South Africa’s best vocalists, these uplifting performers have shared the stage and collaborated with the biggest names in contemporary music including Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, U2, Diana Ross, Peter Gabriel, Chris Martin, John Legend, Pharrell Williams, Jimmy Cliff, Ben Harper, Angelique Kidjo, Robert Plant, Celine Dion, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hugh Masekela and Josh Groban.
Soweto Gospel Choir was formed in 2003 at the end of the apartheid era and during South Africa’s inspiring return to democracy. Taking part in some of the major historical events in the new democratic South Africa, Soweto Gospel Choir has performed on numerous occasions for the Father of their Nation, former President Nelson Mandela, and at his state funeral in South Africa, and at the subsequent commemorative service at Westminster Abbey in London.
The choir also was invited to perform at the funeral service for the late president’s first wife, Winnie Mandela. The choir’s patron is human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and they act as ambassadors for the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Soweto Gospel Choir are three-time Grammy Award-winners including 2019 Best World Music Album for “Freedom.” They have performed with music greats including U2, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Josh Groban.
Soweto Gospel Choir is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures in association with the UCSB MultiCultural Center. Tickets are $30-$45 General Public / $15 UCSB Students (Current student ID required)
For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805-893-3535 or buy online at www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.