The Soweto Gospel Choir, a South African Choir, will perform Feb. 26 at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron in a concert themed "A Musical Celebration of its Rainbow Nation and the Life of Nelson Mandela."
Akron is one stop in a tour which will include more than 30 cities in three months. The choir celebrates its 10th anniversary and recently released the recording Divine Decade.
The recording opens with an address from the choir's patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and features collaborations with a wide range of guest artists that exhibit the Choir's breadth of repertoire, including: U2, Robert Plant, The Soil, Joepraize, Zahara, Elvis Blue, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Solly Mahlangu, Corlea Botha, Eric Wainaina, Johnny Clegg, Paul Ruske, and HHP. Amongst the featured tracks include the choir's popular hits such as "Sedilaka," Sarah McLachlan's "Angel," The Jackson 5's "I'll Be There," and the Fish Out of Water remix of "Put On Your Boots", their collaboration with U2.
Founded in November 2002, the Soweto Gospel Choir first saw international success within one month of inception when its first single "Voices of Heaven" reached No. 1 on Billboard's World Music Chart. In October 2006, the choir performed as invited guests for their patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu's 75th Birthday Celebration in front of an audience that included former President Nelson Mandela, Zanele Mbeki, Tokyo Sexwale, Samuel L. Jackson, Alfre Woodard and Carlos Santana. The choir has made television appearances on Conan, Leno, and the Today Show, and has garnered honors including two American Gospel Music Awards in 2003, and the Grammy Award for "Best Traditional World Music Album" two years in a row--in 2006 for Blessed, and in 2007 for African Spirit.
For more details about the album and Soweto Gospel Choir's 2014 tour, visit sowetogospelchoir.com.