Three-time Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir returns to The Soraya with an all-new concert, “HOPE—It’s Been a Long Time Coming, Songs from the Great African and American Struggle,” a timely program honoring artists who have struggled for civil rights and social justice in the U.S. and South Africa. 

Rousing freedom songs mix with music by Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte, Mahalia Jackson, and others, combined with traditional African gospel music and from the American Civil Rights Movement. 

Presented as part of The Soraya’s Signature Series, the Soweto Gospel Choir will perform on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. Tickets: $36-$65 For all ticket information visit www.thesoraya.org or call the Ticket Office at (818) 677-3000. The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge.

“HOPE – It’s Been a Long Time Coming” offers a heartfelt message of hope to all people. It combines South African struggle songs sung by communities fighting the oppressive apartheid regime and the songs of America’s civil rights movement. These are the songs of a people all praying for a better life. They are songs of resistance. They come from the soul. Theirs is a heartfelt message of both resilience and of hope. 

The choir hails from Soweto, the home of South Africa’s first president, Nelson Mandela. The choir inspires audiences with its powerful blend of African gospel, freedom songs and international classics. Brimming with energy and thrilling with its transcendent harmonies, the three-time Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir is “nothing less than an international treasure” (Jazztimes), beloved the world over for its ensemble flair and infectious spirit. 

Comprising a line-up of some of South Africa’s best vocalists, these uplifting performers have shared the stage and collaborated with the biggest names in contemporary music, including Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, U2, Diana Ross, Peter Gabriel, Chris Martin, John Legend, Pharrell Williams, Jimmy Cliff, Ben Harper, Angelique Kidjo, Robert Plant, Celine Dion, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hugh Masekela, and Josh Groban. 

Soweto Gospel Choir was formed in 2003 at the end of the apartheid era and during South Africa’s inspiring return to democracy. Taking part in some of the major historical events in the new democratic South Africa, Soweto Gospel Choir is proud to have performed on many occasions for the father of their nation, former President Nelson Mandela and sadly at his state funeral in South Africa and at the subsequent commemorative service at Westminster Abbey in London. 

The choir was similarly invited to perform at the funeral service for the late president’s first wife, Winnie Mandela. The Choir’s patron is human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and they are proud to act as ambassadors for the Nelson Mandela Foundation. 

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