Africa meets Idaho

Idaho / Aug. 7, 2012 / by Chris
Africa meets Idaho

Last week we had the incredible opportunity to go see two of South Africa's big name groups - Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Johnny Clegg Band. We could barely believe that we found such big name international bands in northern Idaho, but Idaho seemed to be a place that surpassed our expectations in general.

What struck me about the concert was, despite over half of the lyrics being in Zulu, both groups held the crowd's attention for the entire set. I'm not a big proponent of "music as a universal language" - people can hear pieces of music very differently depending on their backgrounds. But I do think Thursday's concert showed how music can unite people from widely different cultures and allow them to enjoy one experience. One of the great things about the US is the melting pot aspect of our art and culture; seeing people from very diverse backgrounds listening to South African music in northern Idaho affirmed what a powerful force music can be in uniting both our country and the world.