Jazz April Birthday #4: Hugh Masekela | April 4, 2013

IMG_3059 Hugh Masekela legendary South African...

South African born Hugh Masekela has been called the most important African jazz and world musician.  He certainly introduced African jazz styles to the rest of the world.

  A 14-year old Masekela was inspired to take up the trumpet by the 1950 film Young Man With a Horn (Kirk Douglas plays a character based on Bix Beiderbecke).

  His 1960s hit “Grazing in the Grass” topped the Rolling Stones’ “Jumping Jack Flash” on the US charts.  His song “Bring Him Back Home” became the anthem for Nelson Mandela’s world tour following his release from prison.

  Masekela’s autobiography from 2004, Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela details his wild ride from the oppression of his South African childhood to the highs (and lows) of super-stardom.  It’s a good read.

“I think that anybody from the 20th century, up to now, has to be aware that if it wasn’t for Louis Armstrong, we’d all be wearing powdered wigs. I think that Louis Armstrong loosened the world, helped people to be able to say “Yeah,” and to walk with a little dip in their hip. Before Louis Armstrong, the world was definitely square, just like Christopher Columbus thought.” – Hugh Masekela


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    A blog about Jazz, Blues, Latin Jazz, New Orleans, musician's stories and more. My name is Robin Lloyd and I've been involved in jazz radio and the music business for over 30 years. This is my personal blog.

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