Vusi Mahlasela

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 | 8:00 pm

Reynolds Industries Theater


**Vusi Mahlasela replaces the previously scheduled concert with Rokia Traoré.**

Celebrated South African singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela is known as “The Voice,” both for his extraordinary range as a singer, and for his role as a troubadour proclaiming freedom amidst tumult and reconciliation over recrimination. The South African Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer had this to say about the musician: “Vusi Mahlasela sings as a bird does: in total response to being alive. Music was at the heart of the struggle for freedom; Vusi was there. Music is at the heart of reconstruction; Vusi’s music is here to stir and delight us. He is a South African national treasure.”

In the 20 years since the fall of apartheid, Mahlasela has gained a worldwide following. His most recent album, Say Africa, was produced by the great bluesman Taj Mahal, who praises Mahlasela’s “joyous energy.” This extraordinary musician, who sings in English, Sotho, and Swahili, has recorded numerous albums on Sony and with Dave Matthews’ ATO Records, has collaborated with artists from Ladysmith Black Mombazo to Sting, and was honored with a SAMA lifetime achievement award in 2012 — the South African equivalent of a GRAMMY. Mahlasela recently performed at Carnegie Hall with Hugh Masekela to mark twenty years of democracy in South Africa.

Made possible, in part, with support from the Duke Africa Initiative, a faculty-led initiative that brings together scholars from across the University and Health System who have a shared interest, whether through their research or programmatic activities, in the countries and cultures of the African continent.

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