The South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela is Tuesday at age 78, died after a long battle against prostate cancer. That made his family famous.
Masekela was regarded as the father of South African jazz. He composed and also sang. The musician, who is also internationally renown acquired by his fight against apartheid, died in Johannesburg.
“My biggest obsession is Africans and the rest of the world will show who the people of Africa really are,” said the musician. ‘Soweto Blues’ was one of the songs of the antiapartheidsbeweging.
The South African president Jacob Zuma speaks of an ” unfathomable loss for the music industry and the country’. “His contribution to the struggle for freedom will never be forgotten.’
Masekala was inspired to trumpet playing after the movie from 1950 Young Man with a Horn had seen. Plays Kirk Douglas the jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke.
In 1960, at the age of 21, he left South Africa. For thirty years he would not return. Care of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, he was encouraged to develop his own unique style to develop.
In 1967 he played at the Monterey Pop Festival in addition to, among others, Janis Joplin, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding. A year later, he scored a worldwide hit with Grazing in the Grass. That song he also played at the opening of the Soccer world cup in South Africa in 2010.
After the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990, and returned Masekela returned to South Africa. In the song Bring Home Nelson Mandela called for the musician in 1986 to Mandela’s release.
‘Hughs global and activist contribution and participation in music, theater and the arts in general is in the spirit and the memory of the millions of people on six continents, ” says the family in a statement. “We are very happy and grateful that we are part if his life and his legacy of love, generosity and forward-thinking creativity that is more than six decades have lasted.’