Preview: A Celebration of Hugh Masekela’s Life and Music @ Southbank Centre (London; Sunday 18th November)

Hugh masekela

On 3rd January 2018, one of the world’s finest and most inspirational horn players died. After a career of changing music, and not just in his homeland of South Africa, Hugh Masekela was sadly taken from the world of jazz. Having been a figure of defiance throughout apartheid, and a voice of reason afterwards, Masekela was one of South Africa’s greatest heroes and truly deserving of a headline show dedicated to him at this festival that owes him so much.

The show at Southbank Centre will feature Masekela’s full band as well as Sibongile Khumalo, a South African singer who worked with Masekela in the past, and Zimbabwean singer Oliver Mtukudzi. You can expect a selection of world-class artists, displaying an array of talents, being unified on the stage by one thing: a love of Bra Hugh, his impact and his music.

Backed by Complete, a Masekela supported South African vocal ensemble, there will be layers of sound that reflect the eras and changes in Masekela’s life. His music was both revolutionary and mainstream, fusing together the worlds of protest and pop. He had hit singles and made some far-out jazz. To get the flavour of the evening I recommend listening to Promise of a Future from 1968; you won’t hear many horns blown as well as on these songs.

For the jazz festival, this is also a personal moment. Masekela, in the past, was always an enthusiastic supporter of the London Jazz Festival, having opened it in 2015 and been a big part of Serious, the charity who run the festival, since its very beginning. Masekela’s impact on international jazz was more than just playing a few shows and helping to curate some evenings. The influence and inspiration to young musicians all over the African continent is one of the reasons we can celebrate so many global artists today.

Whether it be recording the first African LP with the Jazz Epistles, protesting in exile or leading the spread of African music across the world, Hugh Maseleka was and is a legend that transcends music. This is an opportunity to join others in a celebration of one of the greatest musicians to ever grace the stage at the EFG London Jazz Festival.

Content Related To These Artists

Your Ticket to… 2020 (in 20+1 Albums)

Hard to believe that such a dire and dramatic year could inspire such an abundance of remarkable albums. Or maybe, on the contrary, the multitude of emotions sparked by the pandemic and our new life’s circumstances might have been the main reasons why musicians were able to write, record and…

Artists: AKKAN , Al Breadwinner , Bab L’Bluz , Chouk Bwa , Clap! Clap! , Derek Gripper , DUMA , Hugh Masekela , Khruangbin , Let Drum Beat , Nat Birchall , ONIPA , Santrofi , Son Rompe Pera , Songhoy Blues , Spoek Mathambo , The Ångströmers , The Sorcerers , Thundercat , Tony Alln

Album Review: Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela – Rejoice [World Circuit Records; March 2020]

With the very recent passing of Tony Allen, this set of recordings has special significance. He and South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela had been planning on making a record together for years and in 2010 this finally was about to become a reality. Producer Nick Gold got the two titans…

Artists: Hugh Masekela , Tony Allen

Playlist: Remembering ‘Tuku’ with Mokoomba (January 2019)

It happened a few days ago now, but when great men (and musicians) pass away, you always need some time to digest the news. That happened to us, as we were and still are Oliver Mtukudzi’s mere fans and supporters. However, for the people of Zimbabwe, Tuku’s death has been…

Artists: Mokoomba , Oliver Mtukudzi

There are no comments

Add yours

Get an exclusive FREE compilation album each month compiled by us
Just sign up to our FREE monthly newsletter
Your e-mail address will not be passed on to anyone!
Never display this again