Definitively known as the Voice, South African singer/guitarist Vusi Mahlasela is an icon revered not only for the passionate, supple strength of his vocals and the joyous spirit of his music, but also as an inspirational voice during the anti-Apartheid revolution and subsequent reconciliation. With lyrics that often still address social and political issues, Mahlasela's music embraces a wide swath of South African styles, from strictly traditional to township jazz, mixing them up with subtle bits of international folk and pop. His music is naturally effervescent, his sandy voice flirting with simmering rhythms, dancing guitar lines, and rich choruses. Mahlasela's new album, Say Africa, was recorded at Dave Mathews's Virginia studio and produced by Taj Mahal, who adds a few modest touches. This will be a duo performance: Mahlasela joined by guitarist/singer Mongezi Ntaka, who was Lucky Dube's lead guitarist.
Sun., Feb. 13, 7 p.m., 2011