Published: Thu, January 25, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta mourns Jazz Legend Hugh Masekela

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta mourns Jazz Legend Hugh Masekela

His family announced the death in a statement. He also scored an global number one hit in 1968 with "Grazing In The Grass".

He immersed himself in the NY jazz scene, watching jazz greats such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Otherwise, Davis warned, "You'll be just like a thousand other jazz players; you'll just be a statistic".

- Kieran Dodds (@_kierandodds) January 23, 2018A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind musician with the passing of Jazz legend bra Hugh Masekela. The record's cover featured a barefoot Masekela standing in the jungle, holding a briefcase and clad in a Brooks Brothers suit. "The Masekela family is in our thoughts and prayers during this hard time". And in 1967, he performed at the Monterey Pop Festival alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. He also received a Lifetime Achievement award at the WOMEX World Music Expo in Copenhagen in 2011.

Hugh Masekela opened the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert and the event's Opening Ceremony in Soweto's Soccer City. On arrival in NY he enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music.

"Nothing much has changed in South Africa except that we vote but economically we don't own the country as a people who were oppressed". He worked with some West and Central Africans before setting up a mobile studio in Botswana from 1980 to 1984 with the help of Jive Records to reconnect with Southern African musicians.

Masekela performed on recordings by the Byrds, made an album in 1978 with trumpeter and bandleader Herb Alpert, and later collaborated with Paul Simon.

It's music that is understood most keenly by the people it is produced for, and it is why Masekela's music has been handed down, song by song, album by album, from generation to generation. With other schoolmates, Masekela joined the newly formed Huddleston Jazz Band, South Africa's first youth orchestra.

Australian Open match interrupted due to "selfie lover"
Dimitrov earlier came through a tough match against 30th seed Andrey Rublev in the heat of the afternoon. He was a guy I looked up to as a kid - and still do. "He kind of just smiled, kind of embraced me".

Born in South Africa in 1939, he began playing trumpet at the age of 14.

NYC reflected the greater admiration Masekela enjoyed here in the US. He acknowledged addictions to "drinkin", cokin', smokin' - you name it, all the "kins", before seeking treatment in the 1990s. He was inspired to learn the trumpet after seeing Kirk Douglas play Bix Beiderbecke in the 1950 film Young Man with a Horn. At the time, he was attending St. Peter's, an Anglican prep school in the suburbs of Johannesburg, where his musical precociousness was matched only by his reputation for unruliness.

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. After reaching the heights of fame in South Africa, Masekela went into exile in the US. The 1960 Sharpeville massacre, in which scores of anti-apartheid demonstrators were mowed down by police gunfire, squashed Masekela's dream of touring with the group.

He married Makeba the following year. In an account from the Sunday Times archives, Masekela explains that he "spends the next 25 years fighting as hard as [he] could for South Africa's liberation", as he was then officially in exile, only returning in 1990 after the release of Nelson Mandela. A son from a relationship, Selema "Sal" Masekela, works as a musician and journalist.

"Heritage restoration is my biggest obsession", he told the San Francisco Classical Voice in 2011.

As expected, social media has been rife with tributes to the legendary African musician.

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