Mango Groove

Mango Groove

 Johannesburg, Gauteng, ZAF
BandWorldAdult Contemporary

MANGO GROOVE’S career has spanned an exciting and turbulent time in South Africa’s history. Since its first iconic multi-platinum release in 1989, the band has gone on to become a household name in South Africa.
To date, over 750 000 albums were sold in South Africa alone.


MANGO GROOVE’S career has spanned an exciting and turbulent time in South Africa’s history. Since its first iconic multi-platinum release in 1989, the band, together with its charismatic lead singer Claire Johnston, has gone on to become a household name in South Africa.

To date, Mango Groove has sold over 750 000 albums in South Africa alone, and in terms of its airplay across all radio and TV stations, continues to be an act that truly reaches the hearts of all South Africans.

Mango Groove has enjoyed over 12 Number 1 hits and received every conceivable SA music and video award, as well as a number of global ones.
They have set new precedents for all SA artists, being the only SA group to sell out the Sun City Superbowl and the Standard Bank Arena 6 times each.
This multi-platinum- selling band was the first to re-define live staging and production standards for SA acts; the first to command a million Rand sponsorship deal, and were the first and only group to remain at the top of the SA national sales charts for over a year.
Internationally, Mango Groove’s unique and magical blend of South African marabi, kwela and pop influences, together with the voice and presence of Claire Johnston and the evocative penny whistle melodies of Mduduzi Magwaza, has captivated audiences around the world.
Highlights of their career include the direct satellite link- up to the Freddie Mercury tribute in London (to an estimated audience of a billion people); their performance in front of 200 000 people at the Paris “SOS Racism” concert; and their performance at the renowned Montreux Jazz festival where the band received 3 encores. From London to Hong Kong to Toronto to Sydney, the band has played to sell- out crowds…
Mango Groove was given the honour of being the only South African (indeed African) act to be invited to perform at the “Celebrate Hong Kong ‘97” Reunification Concert. This historic event, part of the official celebrations commemorating the hand over of Hong Kong to China, was televised world wide and immortalised on a commemorative CD.
Mango Groove was also especially proud to have been associated with the ABC world- wide broadcast of Nelson Mandela’s release where their music was used as the main theme. A few years later they headlined at his inauguration.
Mango Groove has long been aware of music’s unique power to change people’s hearts and minds, and through the years the band has raised hundreds of thousands of Rands for issues such as literacy, terminally ill children and conservation.

The Mango Sound
Many people have tried to define the Mango Groove sound, and have resorted to a host of adjectives and phrases to do this: Kwela/Marabi Pop, SA Pop, Big Band Swing Pop, Eclecto-Pop, and so on. Certainly, the Mango Sound is a pop sound, aiming at simple and accessible songs, grooves and melodies and certainly it is eclectic. This eclecticism is primarily reflected in the extent to which Mango Groove has drawn on the rich legacy of South African urban music forms from the ‘40’s and 50’s:
• Kwela Music: the pennywhistle-based sound from the ‘50’s made famous by such legends as Spokes Mashiane and Lemmy Special.
• Marabi/African Jazz: The rich, bittersweet, horn-based sound best exemplified by the Big Bands of the Sophiatown era.
• Swing: The Glenn-Miller influenced swing rhythms of the South African townships of the ‘40’s
• Mbube: The male acapella/gospel best represented in the early styles of Ladysmith Black Mambazo
• The urban ‘girl-group’ sound of ‘50’s South Africa, exemplified in the sound Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks.
• The Gum Boot rhythms originating in the harsh conditions of Johannesburg gold mines in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s
Listen to the various Mango Groove albums, and the above influences certainly shine through: the exquisite dexterity of Mduduzi Magwaza’s pennywhistle, the big brass arrangements, the lashings of doo-wop harmonies and the thundering swing and gumboot rhythms. Feed into this a modern pop sensibility, however, and front it with the inimitable and soaring voice of Claire, and the end result is a sound that is utterly distinctive and utterly unique. Putting it simply, nothing sounds quite like Mango Groove.

Mango Heritage:
In the course of its long career, Mango Groove has been privileged to work with a host of great SA artists who were either stars at the time, or who have gone on to achieve great things in their own right. They have included the following:
• Alan Lazar, the pivotal keyboard player, co-writer and co-producer of the first 3 albums, and who is now a highly successful composer and film director in the US. View his site at
• Don Laka, platinum-selling solo artist and SA Uber-producer (Mafikizolo, Bongo Maffin and others). In addition to being Mango’s keyboard player for a couple of years, Don co-produced the band’s ‘Eat a Mango’ album.
• Ringo Madlingozi, the iconic and multi-platinum selling SA artist, who sang on ‘


Mango Groove's Discography

Bang The Drum
Release date: 2009
Number of tracks: 16

The Essential Mango Groove - Double CD
Release date: 2008
Number of tracks: 37

Moments Away: Love Songs and Lullabies 1990-2006
Release date: 2006
Number of tracks: 16

The Ultimate Collection
Release date: 2002
Number of tracks: 13

The Ultimate Collection DVD
Release date: 2002
Number of tracks: 13

The Best of Mango Groove
Release date: 2000
Number of tracks: 20

Eat A Mango
Release date: 1996
Number of tracks: 10

Dance Sum More... All the Hits So Far
Release date: 1996
Number of tracks: 18

The Best Of Mango Groove
Release date: 1994
Number of tracks: 13

Another Country
Release date: 1993
Number of tracks: 13

Release date: 1991
Number of tracks: 11

Mango Groove
Release date: 1989
Number of tracks: 13