Sharon Katz & the Peace Train


The multicultural South African band of Sharon Katz & The Peace Train helped Nelson Mandela end Apartheid and have continued spreading their message of peace and reconciliation through performances and workshops in festivals, educational settings and concert halls around the world.

Nominated for the Grammy’s “Best World Music Album,” the group made history in 1992 when they formed South Africa’s first, 500-voice multiracial choir and then organized a courageous tour on board a train –The Peace Train – to promote a peaceful transition to democracy. When CNN filmed Sharon jumping out of a helicopter with her guitar in a remote area, to teach the rural people about the voting process through song, Sharon Katz & The Peace Train were propelled into an international career that has spanned three continents and coast-to-coast US appearances.

Now based in the US, the versatile group of musicians, singers, dancers and workshop leaders educate and thrill audiences of all ages and sizes. Their pulsating rhythms, rich harmonies, guitar-driven maskanda and mbaqanga melodies, spine-tingling Zulu dances, funky basslines, Afro-jazz horn lines, intricate drum patterns, and compelling lyrics tell South Africa’s story - past and present.

Their school and university programs combine diversity education with interactive entertainment that is adaptable for coursework in many disciplines including social studies, bullying, music, language arts, leadership, diversity, entrepreneurship, political science and international studies. Cultural collaborations are their specialty and range from teaching African songs and Zulu dancing to university choirs and dance groups, to much larger-scale community events that can include local artists or symphony orchestras.

Recordings include “Imbizo” on Billboard’s Highly Recommended list and Grammy nomination list for Best World Music Album; “Crystal Journey” featuring the original mass choir; “Lerato” with the legendary Afro-jazz diva Dolly Rathebe; “Live in NYC with Special Guest Pete Seeger;” “Double Take” with Abigail Kubeka and Dolly Rathebe; and “Carnival!” with Sting, Elton John, Tina Turner and Madonna.

Sharon Katz & The Peace Train also use proceeds from their appearances for their humanitarian work in under-developed areas of South Africa and around the world including music therapy with orphans and communities affected by HIV/AIDS; feeding programs in impoverished areas; conflict resolution work in violence-torn regions; and building schools and community arts centers.