South African musician Hugh Masekela, RIP


This music video says about itself:

Hugh Masekela – Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela) from Paul Simon’s “Graceland – The African Concert” (Zimbabwe, 1987)

I decided to upload this extract of the concert in order to dispose it in decent audio and video quality online, as it is my firm belief that its inspiring edge and indelible political meaning exceed the concept of copyright infringement protection. It is never too late for more people from all over the world to become or get more familiar with the great man Nelson Mandela (18/08/1918 – 5/12/2013) and his troubled yet glorious life, and this song is a bright example of his enormous influence to the people. Therefore, I communicate this performance via the internet as a token of appreciation to both Nelson Mandela and
Hugh Masekela.

More information about the song is here.

From the BBC today:

Hugh Masekela, South African jazz trumpeter, dies

Legendary jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, a leading figure in the struggle to end apartheid and “the father of South African jazz”, has died aged 78.

In a statement, his family said he had “passed peacefully” in Johannesburg “after a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer”.

Masekela gained global recognition with his distinctive Afro-Jazz sound and hits such as Soweto Blues.

The 1977 song became synonymous with the anti-apartheid movement.

In a statement, South African President Jacob Zuma said Masekela’s death was “an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country at large”.

Zuma continued: “His contribution to the struggle for liberation will never be forgotten.”

Born in the South African town of Witbank in 1939, Masekela was inspired to learn the trumpet after seeing Kirk Douglas play Bix Beiderbecke in the 1950 film Young Man with a Horn.

He persuaded one of his teachers – the anti-apartheid crusader Father Trevor Huddleston – to buy him an instrument, promising to stay out of trouble in return.

In 1960, aged 21, he left South Africa to begin what would be 30 years in exile from the land of his birth.

Under the tutelage of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, he was encouraged to develop his own unique style.

In 1967, he performed at the Monterey Pop Festival alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, The Who and Jimi Hendrix.

The following year, his instrumental single Grazing in the Grass topped the charts in the US and became a worldwide hit.

Masekela returned to South Africa in 1990 following the release of Nelson Mandela, whose freedom he had called for in his 1986 anthem Bring Home Nelson Mandela.

In June 2010, he performed at both the opening concert of the Fifa World Cup and the tournament’s opening ceremony in Soweto’s Soccer City.

In their statement, Masekela’s family described him as “a loving father, brother, grandfather and friend” who would be “forever in our hearts”.

“Hugh’s 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”, it continued.

“We are blessed and grateful to be part of a life and ever-expanding legacy of love, sharing and vanguard creativity that spans the time and space of six decades.”

Details of memorial and burial services, the family said, would be released “in due course”.

South African musician Loyiso Bala was among many to mark his death on Twitter.

Death South Africa liberation movement pays tribute to Hugh Masekela: here.

HUGH RAMOPOLO MASEKELA, born on April 4, 1939 in KwaGuqa township in South Africa, died last Saturday of prostate cancer in Johannesburg. Known as Bra Hugh, the rasping sound of his trumpet echoed that of political action and his voice carried the courage of the people in South Africa, even though he and many like him who protested and sang on international stages against the apartheid government were banished into exile and their music banned: here.

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