South Africa's Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel choir excited for their maiden Nairobi concert - The Sauce
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South Africa’s Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel choir excited for their maiden Nairobi concert

Celebrated South African choral ensemble Soweto Gospel Choir will perform in Kenya for the first time this month.

The multiple award-winning group, Soweto Gospel Choir, will be in Nairobi for a concert on Friday, August 16th 2019 at the CITAM Karen church from 6 pm.

According to a report by Business Daily, “The choir is thrilled to be performing in Kenya, especially as this will be their first visit. We can’t wait to learn more about Kenyan music and culture,” says Beverly Byer, executive producer and director of Soweto Gospel Choir.

“The group’s performance trademark is incredible energy and spirit, colourful costumes, breathtaking vocals and dancing and drumming. Much of their captivating sound is composed and arranged in Zulu, Xhosa and other indigenous South African languages. Their broad repertoire ranges from traditional South African spiritual favourites like “Avulekile Amasango (The Gates Have Opened) to their rendition of the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah.”

Last year the group performed “Halo” alongside American musical powerhouse Beyoncé at the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The voices of the Soweto Gospel Choir can be heard on the soundtrack to the new “The Lion King” film singing “Circle of Life Nants’ Ingonyama” alongside fellow South African artist Lebo M.

The ensemble has recorded and performed with Beyoncé, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, U2, John Legend and a host of global superstars.

Their concerts have charmed global icons like Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the British Royal Family, US Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Oprah Winfrey among others.

They have performed at some of the grandest concert venues in the world, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, London Festival Hall and the Sydney Opera House.

Their first Grammy was in 2007 for their second album “Blessed” in the Best Traditional World Music category while the second was in the same category the following year for the album “African Spirit”.

As reported by The Sauce earlier in the year, they won their third Grammy Award for Best World Music Album for the album “Freedom” a 12-track tribute to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

The choir has also won an Oscar for their work with British star Peter Gabriel on the song “Down to Earth” from the movie “Wall-E.”

The Soweto Gospel Choir was formed by Bryer and the late South African choral director David Mulovhezi in 2002 in the teeming township of Soweto, Johannesburg, historically known as the hotbed of South Africa’s liberation movement.

They have established an identity of African gospel, freedom songs and Western classics. Their international reputation was established after Bryer who is Australian but was born in South Africa organised what became the Soweto Gospel Choir for a tour of the country.

At the moment, the Soweto Gospel Choir comprises more than 50 members, including singers and a band that tours the world. Because of the global demand for their performances, the group has split into three identical units touring the world at various times.

According to Beverly Byer, there will be 26 members, including a 4-piece band, during the performance in Nairobi.

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