Transitions: Hugh Masekela, (1940 to 2018)

The Hunt for New Music.
Hugh Masekela, one of the world’s finest and most honored jazz musicians, has died at the age of 78. Masekela, called a “great son of Africa”,  was not just a terrific trump player, but also an anti-apartheid activist who spent three decades in exile. Masekela died from complications of cancer, a disease he had been fighting for several years.  Rather than re-note his major contributions both to music and to South Africa and race relations in that country, in this post we will simply present a Hugh Masekela concert, in full. Please click the link on the first sentence above to read the excellent New York Times obituary of this amazing man.
As a young man, I had the opportunity to see Hugh Masekela perform in person and it was uplifting to say the least. Part concert, part evangelical meeting, Masekela raised the music stakes and intensity with every song, the pureness of the notes coming from his trumpet enhanced and complimented by the complex rhythms and chords of traditional South African music updated to a new era and cultural consciousness. If like the  African influenced music that you heard on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album (which is 100% excellent), then maybe you would appreciate a deeper dive, by listening to Makela’s work and one of his earlier groups, the Jazz Epistles.
Enjoy the concert. We thank our friends at Arte Concert and  Archives Culturelles Afro for making this concert available. As always–kick it to the big screen, run it through your audio system, and enjoy.
The Fine Print: Embed courtesy of our friends at YouTube, who have more than you would ever imagine available online and ready for your education or enjoyment. We also thank Arte Concert and Archies Culturelles Afro for posting the video on YouTube. All rights belong to the respective rights holder. This post is a tribute to the character and music of Hugh Masekela. We need a lot more like him in our world today. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *