Press Release – Soweto Gospel Choir
Heralded as the most exciting group to emerge in World Music in recent years, two-time Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir returns to New Zealand in June with a brand new concert “African Grace”. Multi Grammy Award Winners Soweto Gospel Choir Returns To New Zealand
‘Meticulous and unstoppable… spirited and spectacular’ – The New York Times
Heralded as the most exciting group to emerge in World Music in recent years, two-time Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir returns to New Zealand in June with a brand new concert “African Grace”.
Soweto Gospel Choir will perform in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, New Plymouth and Napier from June 25 to July 2.
Through vibrant rhythm movement and its renowned vocal harmonies, Soweto Gospel Choir’s inimitable performance style has become a worldwide phenomenon. Since its foundation in 2002, the choir has performed to sell-out crowds at the greatest concert halls across the globe and alongside superstars including Bono, Queen, Celine Dion, John Legend, Peter Gabriel, Josh Groban, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder.
The choir received its fourth Grammy nomination this year with its fifth album ‘African Grace’ being nominated in the Best Traditional World Music Album category, and on the tour to New Zealand, the choir’s 26 singers, dancers and musicians will deliver a flawless performance of traditional and contemporary songs infused with irrepressible spirit.
Tour presenter HVK Productions’ CEO Andrew Kay says he is thrilled to be bringing Soweto Gospel Choir back to New Zealand. “This is an extraordinary group of performers who touch people’s hearts wherever they go, what this group has achieved is staggering, not just in critical claim and audience size, but the impact they make on people all around the world.”
Formed in November 2002, by Andrew Kay, David Vigo and the late Clifford Hocking in association with Executive Producer/Director Beverly Bryer and Musical Director, the late David Mulovhedzi, Soweto Gospel Choir won instant plaudits internationally including winning the 2003 Helpmann Award, Australia’s prestigious Performing Arts Award for “Best Contemporary Music Concert”.
The first CD “Voices from Heaven” garnered rave reviews, reaching the Number 1 spot on Billboard’s World Music Chart, within three weeks of its US release, debuting at Number 3. Its second CD “Blessed” won its first Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music. Since then, the choir has released Grammy Award-nominated CD “Live at the Nelson Mandela Theatre” (2008), its second Grammy award-winning CD, “African Spirit” (2008) and Grammy Award-nominated “African Grace” (2010).
Wherever Soweto Gospel Choir has performed, be it Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Canada the UK or the USA, it has wowed audiences. Since 2005 the choir has completed an annual three month tour of the United States, with the majority of concerts sold out.
The choir performed in the inaugural performance for Nelson Mandela in Capetown in 2003, for Oprah Winfrey for her New Year’s Eve party, was the support act for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers in Germany and in 2010, the choir opened World Expo in Shanghai.
But no amount of glittering international recognition and praise has diverted Soweto Gospel Choir from the mission it holds close at heart. In 2003 the choir founded its own aids orphanage foundation, Nkosi’s Haven Vukani. With the plight of South Africa’s sick and impoverished top of mind, their foundation supports families and organisations that receive little or no government support. These destitute families and children rely on Soweto Gospel Choir to sing all over the world for very much more than its supper. To date, the choir has collected more than $US1.5 million for the foundation. As well as supporting Nkosi’s Haven Vukani Soweto Gospel Choir’s 2011 New Zealand tour will be supporting World Vision.
Soweto Gospel Choir is honoured to have as its patron, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
Soweto Gospel Choir performs at Auckland’s Aotea Centre on Saturday 25 June, at the St James Theatre in Wellington on Sunday 26 June, at Hamilton’s Founders Theatre on Wednesday 29 June, at the TSB Showplace in New Plymouth on Thursday 30 June, and at Municipal Theatre in Napier on Saturday 2 July.
For more information visit www.sowetogospelchoir.com