Paul Simon sang with Art Garfunkel and his South African collaborators from the landmark "Graceland" album in a pair of rare reunions at a concert yesterday (May 23) honoring his contributions to popu
Paul Simon sang with Art Garfunkel and his South African collaborators from the landmark "Graceland" album in a pair of rare reunions at a concert yesterday (May 23) honoring his contributions to popular music.
Simon joined the Zulu choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo for the first time since 1999 at the concert, which was sponsored by the U.S. Library of Congress. "I haven't performed with them for a few years, but they're my brothers from South Africa," Simon said as he welcomed the group to the stage of Washington, D.C.'s ornate Warner Theatre.
Together they played the hit "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes," from the 1986 "Graceland" album, a Grammy-winning milestone for world music. They parted with high-fives and hugs as the Ladysmith Black Mambazo members, wearing colorful traditional shirts and white sneakers, danced off the stage.
Simon also embraced Garfunkel, recognizing an award-winning and best-selling musical partnership that dates to the 1950s but has been marked by long spells of estrangement. "My dear friend and partner in arguments, Art Garfunkel," Simon said before they launched into "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Cecilia."
The concert commemorated Simon's receipt of the Library of Congress' first Gershwin Award recognizing contributions to the popular song as an art form. Among others who performed songs by Simon were bluegrass star Alison Krauss, reggae singer Stephen Marley and Latin vocalist Marc Anthony.
James Taylor sang a lighthearted version of Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years," and to close the show, Simon teamed with Stevie Wonder and the gospel group the Dixie Hummingbirds for a rollicking version of "Loves Me Like a Rock."
Wonder, who is blind, missed a vocal line, made a crack about his cue cards, flipped up his dark glasses to peer at the audience in jest, and dove back into the song. The concert will be broadcast June 27 on PBS stations.
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