South African Jazz Legend, Hugh Masekela Dies At 78

During this period he performed alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, The Who and Jimi Hendrix.

Here, he befriended musician and political activist Harry Belafonte, and his music increasingly began reflecting the harsh realities of repression and discrimination back home.

He left South Africa following a bloody attack on African protesters in Sharpeville to fight for South African freedom from the outside. He continued to release new music with No Borders released a year ago. Following an education across the United Kingdom and US, Masekela relocated to Botswana where he established the Botswana International School of Music.

He performed with Paul Simon on the 1987 Graceland Tour, along with Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

- Hugh Masekela (@hughmasekela) January 23, 2018A teenage Hugh Masekela jumping for joy in Sophiatown with the trumpet he received from Louis Armstrong. A great musician and songwriter, he was also one of the wittiest people I've known.

He fell in love with singing and playing the piano until he was 14 when he took hold of a trumpet after seeing the film Young Man with a Horn (in which Kirk Douglas plays a character modelled on American jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke). 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.

His chaplain, the anti-apartheid activist Trevor Huddleston, granted his wish, and Huddleston soon found enough interest among other students to start a band.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

He was first and foremost a master musician.

"I humbly ask you on bended knees to carry these thoughts with you as you go out into the world and perhaps think about how humiliating it will be 20 years from today when your children are asked who they really are and their response is "They say we used to be Africans very long ago". An inspiration, a mentor.We shall continue with the baton. He was the father of American television host Sal Masekela. In 1999, he married Ghanaian-born Elinam Cofie.

He returned to South Africa in 1990 following the unbanning of liberation movements.

Masekela spent time in both NY and Los Angeles, performing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival with some of the era's most iconic musicians, including Janis Joplin, Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix.

  • Joey Payne