The Mahotella Queens
@ the Royal Festival Hall
1 2 November 2010
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The Mahotella Queens are part of the legend of the urban South
African music that helped create what is known as Mbaquanga. Mbaquanga:
a fusion of traditional South African tribal music with Marabi (South
African jazz), blues, soul, and gospel.
The Mahotella Queens were established in the 1960’s as a
harmony group and were fronted by legendary Simon Nkabindé
Mahlathini. The group performed all over southern Africa, becoming
the idols of the townships by the end of the sixties. The “Queens”
represent the South African township style with absolute perfection
and their music started to embody the spirit of the oppressed peoples
of the townships and was dubbed the “Indestructible beat of
In 2000, they received the second annual WOMEX Award, presented
for outstanding contribution to World Music. At the award ceremony,
it was said that “the Mahotella Queens represent so much of
what is the best in the music of South Africa: the finely honed
art of passionate singing, the latticework of funky rhythms, and
the breathtaking art of spectacular live performance.”
Most recently, they appeared on the “1 Giant Leap” album
to great acclaim and now tour the world extensively.