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.