South African Jazz Legend Hugh Masekela Dies at 78

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South African Jazz Legend Hugh Masekela Dies at 78

Legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela has died at the age of 78 after a decade-long fight with cancer, according to a statementfrom his familyon Tuesday (Jan. 23).Often called the Father of South African jazz, Masekela died in Johannesburg after what his family said was a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer.

Trumpeter, singer and composer Masekela, affectionately known locally as Bra Hugh, started playing the horn at 14 and quickly became an integral part of the 1950s jazz scene in Johannesburg as a member of the Jazz Epistles.

In the 1960s he went into exile in the United Kingdom and the United States, where he collaborated with American jazz legend Harry Belafonte and used his music to spread awareness about the oppressive system of white-minority rule in South Africa. He also scored an international number one hit in 1968 with Grazing In The Grass.

He collaborated with many musicians including Paul Simon and Herb Alpert. He was married to South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba for two years.

Many of his compositions were about the struggle for majority rule and full democratic rights in South Africa. Masekelas catchy composition Bring Him Back Home calling for Nelson Mandela to be released from prison became an international anthem for the anti-apartheid movement.

Hughs global and activist contribution to and participation in the areas of music, theatre, and the arts in general is contained in the minds and memory of millions across six continents, the family statement read.


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Date Posted: Tue, 23 Jan 2018, 02:55 pm

Tags: Hugh Masekela

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