On Tip Toe
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
A joyously moving tribute to the World Music super group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Academy Award Nominee ON TIP TOE is as uplifting and ultimately inspiring as their culture-bridging performances themselves.
Warmly directed by Eric Simonson and spanning three continents, ON TIP TOE follows the captivating story of South African musician Joseph Shabalala and his unique singing group. Best known on these shores for their innovative support on Paul Simon's Grammy-winning album "Graceland," Mambazo has crafted an extraordinary hybrid of traditional Zulu harmonies and unconventional Western influences, including gospel, rag time, Doo Wop, and even rock 'n roll. Made up of seven bass voices, a tenor, a male alto, and Shabalala as lead vocalist, Mambazo amazingly incorporates the light, syncopated stomping of "isicathamiya" (Is-Cot-A-Me-Ya, meaning "on tip toe"), a style born through the strains of apartheid.
Strikingly photographed and smartly edited, ON TIP TOE traces the fascinating origins of Shabalala's tuneful creations, featuring interviews with Paul Simon and extensive live footage of Mambazo's exhibitions, including their sold-out Royal Albert Hall concert.
Academy Award-Nominated Version: "On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps to Freedom"
Extended Competition Footage: "Singers Uncut"