Revered in his native South Africa and simply but poetically known as the Voice, Vusi Mahlasela wrote the anti-Apartheid anthem "When You Come Back," a joyful tune that initially anticipated the return of those forced into exile. Mahlasela sang it at President Nelson Mandela's inauguration and again at the opening of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The soaring, effervescent energy that Mahlasela and his band — fueled by an ecstatic crowd — inject into the tune live is a highlight of his new album, Sing to the People, recorded at a Johannesburg theater to mark the 20th anniversary of his debut album and its famous title track. Mahlasela's graceful, peppery voice glistens with indomitable spirit, and his band simmers on a mix of SA traditional music, township jazz, and international folk and pop while sorting through two decades of Mahlasela nuggets. For this tour, Mahlasela will be accompanied by guitarist Mongezi Ntaka.
Mon., Feb. 11, 7 p.m., 2013