Paul Simon only discovered Ladysmith Black Mambazo in the same sense that Columbus discovered America, of course, but credit him with helping bring their ghostly and irresistible a cappella groove to the rest of the world. The South African group–a phalanx of seven singers who croon, moan, whisper, dance, and shuffle their way through extremely complex rhythmic and melodic hoops–have been in town for weeks in Steppenwolf’s The Song of Jacob Zulu, and even took the stage at China Club a week or so back. But they’re ending their stay with a gracious free concert in the Grand Ballroom of Navy Pier this afternoon. Credit WBEZ’s Stuart Rosenberg with the coup; this show is just the latest of the genre-busting events he presents at the pier each summer. Also on the bill today: an extraordinary new singer of primal country, Iris Dement; Chicago’s own David Bromberg in a relatively rare appearance; and folkies Jody Stetcher & Kate Brislin. If you have to miss the fun, tune in: WBEZ is simulcasting. Today, 5 PM, Navy Pier, Grand Avenue at the lake; 791-7437.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marc PoKempner.