Choir Makes Its Walt Disney Concert Hall Debut
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2008, AT 8 PM
The voices of the Soweto Gospel Choir fill the acoustics of Walt Disney Concert Hall December 23, 2008 at 8 PM. Complete with a wide-ranging repertoire of traditional gospel classics, songs from their homeland as well as classic holiday treasures, the Soweto Gospel Choir delivers an evening for the whole family to enjoy.
Under the direction of choirmaster David Mulovhedzi, Soweto Gospel Choir draws on the best talent from the many churches and communities in and around Soweto, South Africa and performs in six different languages, including English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. Since its first international performances in Australia in 2002, the Soweto Gospel Choir has become a worldwide phenomenon performing sell-out concerts at the world's greatest concert halls.
Deck the Hall, presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, is a series of festive performances throughout the month of December featuring an array of exceptional artists offering seasonal music. This year's performances conclude with Pink Martini, December 31, at 7 & 10:30 PM.
The two-time Grammy winning SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR is heralded as one of the most exciting groups to emerge in world music in recent years. A sell-out success since it debuted at the Edinburgh Festival in 2003, the choir celebrates the strength of the human spirit and captures the beauty and passion that is Africa. Through vibrant rhythm, movement and its renowned vocal tapestry, the choir performs a repertoire that reflects some of the history of their Rainbow Nation, songs of remembrance for the past, as well as songs of joy and praise for the present and future with a repertoire ranging from the traditional African gospel song "Sefapano" to an extraordinary new interpretation of Bob Dylan's "I'll Remember You." In 2008, Soweto Gospel Choir has embarked on major tours of the UK, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands as well as its fourth tour of the USA & Canada. In its short but spectacular career, Soweto Gospel Choir has sung alongside superstars including Bono, Queen, Annie Lennox, Dionne Warwick, Jimmy Cliff and Celine Dion, shared top billing in Paris with South African legend, Johnny Clegg, was the support act to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Germany and recorded with Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant for the Fats Domino tribute album "Going Home" and Peter Gabriel on the Disney Pixar Wall-e soundtrack which has just been nominated for a Grammy and a Golden Globe. The choir has sung on numerous occasions for the father of democracy in South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was the guest star at Oprah's famous 2007 New Year's party at Sun City, performed for Bill Clinton and sang Happy Birthday to its beloved Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In 2007, Soweto Gospel Choir won its first Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music Album for its second album Blessed and won their second one year later for the same category at the 2008 Grammy Awards for its third album African Spirit. The Soweto Gospel Choir has also won the Best Gospel Choir Award at the 2005 American Gospel Music Awards and the 2003 Australian Helpmann Award for Best Contemporary Concert Presentation. Heralded by the New York Times as "spectacular," the choir is known for unforgettable performances and members seek to show gratitude for their own good fortune, by contributing to the lives of AIDS orphans back home in South Africa. In 2004 the Soweto Gospel Choir set up its own Charity Foundation in association with the established AIDS charity, Nkosi's Haven. Called Nkosi's Haven / Vukani (meaning to arise, do something!) the choir's Vukani is named after late AIDS activist, 12 year old, Nkosi Johnson. At the conclusion of each performance, the Soweto Gospel Choir invites audiences to donate to their organization which helps to fund many AIDS orphan establishments that receive no government or private funding with 100% of the funds collected through concert donations going direct to the charity. To date, Soweto Gospel Choir has raised almost one million from audience donations and last year fed, clothed and housed over 600 orphans.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2008, at 8 PM
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles
Soweto Gospel Choir
Tickets ($24-$71) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at LAPhil.com, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full-time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. Tickets make great gifts! For information, please call 323.850.2000.
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Leah Price, 213. 972.3406, firstname.lastname@example.org; Laura Cohen, 310.867.3897, email@example.com; For photos: 213.972.3034