All Africa Music Awards to pay tribute to jazz legend Hugh Masekela
Jan 25, 2018, 01:28
There was also a message from Clr Herman Mashaba, the executive mayor of the City of Joburg, "I am sad to learn of the passing of legendary South African trumpeter, composer and singer, Hugh Masekela". Do not cut, copy or lift any content from this website without our consent. Masekela was known for his jazz compositions and for writing well-known anti-apartheid songs such as "Soweto Blues" and "Bring Him Back Home".
Simon said: "Hugh Masekela taught me more about South African culture and politics than anyone I ever met". Hugh was largely raised by his grandmother who ran an illegal bar for miners. He found escape from the racial chaos in South Africa in his days with music.
"The nation mourns one of its most recognizable signature talent in the person of Bra Hugh Masekela".
Hugh Masekela popularly called the "Father of South African jazz", Masekela was reported to have died in Johannesburg after what his family said was a "protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer".
Not all listeners appreciated Masekela's new sound - the record "p-- - off a lot of jazz purists", he later told the Contra Costa Times - but Masekela remained a pop music fixture, in part through his work in rock-and-roll.
He also got some training from Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong who encouraged him to develop his own unique style from his African influences.
In 1968 he released his seminal instrumental single Grazin' in the Grass, which reached the number one spot on the American pop charts and was a worldwide hit, launching him on the global stage. In 1959, when the nationalist government was imposing stricter rules of segregation, Masekela joined forces with an all-black band, The Jazz Epistles.
Masekela returned to South Africa in 1990 after Mandela was freed and the African National Congress party was unbanned.
Jordaan said music and football were closely related and cut across in most cases, and Masekela was a regular feature during some of the top football matches across the country.
In 2004, his autobiography, Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela was released, highlighting his struggle over decades with alcoholism.
Masekela is survived by his wife, Elinam Cofie, whom he married in 1999 and for whom he penned the song, Ghana, his daughter, Pula Twala, and his son, Selema "Sal" Masekela, from his relationship with Haitian Jessie Marie Lapierre. "His contribution to the struggle for liberation will never be forgotten", said Zuma.
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