They were described by Nelson Mandela as being "South Africa's Cultural Ambassadors to the World" and there is no doubt that Ladysmith Black Mambazo celebrate Mandela's message of peace at every concert they perform.
Now they are bringing that message to New Zealand with the announcement that they are one of the artists booked to perform at WOMAD NZ next year.
As early bird tickets for the popular internationally established festival are set to go on sale this weekend, organisers have announced two of the artists set to perform on the festival stages at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Park in March, with American singer/songwriter John Grant also named in the line up of international artists.
The full 2016 line up will be announced on the evening of Wednesday, October 21.
"We are thrilled to have such talented and diverse acts as Ladysmith Black Mambazo and John Grant appearing at WOMAD NZ," says WOMAD NZ festival Artistic Director Emere Wano.
"Both acts deliver music that celebrates what is so great about this festival - the diversity on offer that knows no age or boundaries. It is the enduring nature of the musical line-up WOMAD continually delivers that ensures this festival goes from strength-to-strength every year".
Ladysmith Black Mambazo are a South African a cappella group formed in the 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, who now have more than 50 recordings, 15 Grammy Award nominations, and four Grammy Award wins under their belt.
For many Kiwis, the group came to their notice when they were featured in Paul Simon's iconic GRACELAND album in 1986, a union which saw the group launched to global superstar status. Since then, they have recorded with a large number of high-profile acts, including Dolly Parton, Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder, Sarah McLachlan and Melissa Etheridge.
They have recorded sound tracks for a number of films, including he Lion King Part II and Invictus, as well appearing on Broadway.
Emotive American singer/songwriter John Grant (who is now based in Iceland) embraces both sumptuous tempered ballads and taut, fizzing electronic pop songs. Equally at home with symphony orchestras or synthesisers, Grant takes grand melodies to a lofty plateau.
The former The Czars frontman's first two solo albums, 2010's QUEEN OF DENMARK and 2012's PALE GREEN GHOSTS achieved worldwide acclaim.
After escaping a life of substance abuse, Grant has taken an extraordinary journey - including collaborating with Sinéad O'Connor, Rumer and Hercules & Love Affair. In 2014 he was nominated in the Best International Male Solo Artist category at the BRITS alongside Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Drake.
Another measure of achievement, and the journey, is Sinéad O'Connor covering the title track of Grant's 'Queen Of Denmark' on her 2012 album HOW ABOUT I BE ME (AND YOU BE YOU)?. She also supplied goose-bumping backing vocals on PALE GREEN GHOSTS. This a far cry from Grant - two decades (and a lifetime) earlier discovering O'Connor's 'Mandinka' for the first time in new wave clubs.
And now they share a WOMAD connection - O'Connor was a headline act at WOMAD NZ 2015 and Grant is a headline act for 2016.
A limited amount of early bird discount tickets go on sale from 9am Saturday October 10 via the WOMAD website