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Soweto Gospel Choir - "Blessed"

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Soweto Gospel Choir - "Blessed"

"Meticulous and unstoppable .spirited and spectacular" New York Times (07/02/05)

The "Applaud" Christchurch Arts Festival and the Taranaki Festival of the Arts present direct

from South Africa, the SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR.

After a sell-out 39 concert tour of North America, topping the US Billboard World Music Chart and winning the Best Gospel Choir Award at the 2003 American Gospel Music Awards, Soweto Gospel Choir returns to New Zealand.

The SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR is an awe-inspiring vocal ensemble, performing in eight different languages, in an inspirational programme of tribal, traditional and popular African gospel.

Earthy rhythms, rich harmonies, a capella and charismatic performances combine to uplift the soul and express South Africa's great hopes for the future.

Under the direction of the notable choirmaster David Mulovhedzi, the SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR, draws on the best talent from the many churches and communities in and around Soweto.

Since the choir began touring internationally in early 2003 they have performed to nightly standing ovations, sold-out houses and rave reviews.

As well as traditional African Gospel, the "Blessed" programme also includes: "Amazing Grace", "Paradise Road", and music by Otis Redding and the soul styled reggae of Jimmy Cliff. The concert also features traditional dancers and drummers and a dynamic four- piece band.

In October 2004 the choir completed a highly successful five week tour of the United Kingdom. In August they returned to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they performed their new show "Blessed" to packed houses and rave reviews. A highlight for the choir was the opportunity to perform onstage with Anastasia, Queen, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens and Annie Lennox, to an audience of 26,000 at Nelson Mandela's Aids Fundraising Concert in Cape Town in December 2003, which was broadcast around the globe on MTV.

South African gospel music is indeed unique. It has strong roots in traditional music and conveys a powerful spiritual message. The SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR carries forward this rich heritage, celebrating the spirit of South Africa.

For full festival details, visit the "Applaud" Christchurch Arts Festival 2005 website, www.artsfestival.co.nz, or collect a copy of the quirky purple programme from outlets around the country or by phoning 0800 ARTS 05.

Taranaki Festival of the Arts information can be found at www.artsfest.co.nz.

ENDS

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