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Legendary! 5 Pictures That Capture Hugh Masekela’s Amazing Career Story

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South African music legend, Hugh Masekela died today at the age of 78 after a decade-long fight with cancer. According to a statement from his family on Tuesday morning, Masekela often referred to as the “Father of South African jazz,” died in Johannesburg after what his family described as a “protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer.” Masekela’s fame went beyond the shores of South Africa, to carve a niche for himself in the global sphere, and as these pictures describe, he is indeed a one in a million trumpeter.
The Jazz Epistles: At the end of 1959, Hugh Masekela teamed up with Abdullah Ibrahim, Kippie Moeketsi, Makhaya Ntshoko and Johnny Gertze to form the legendary Jazz Epistles band. The band went on to deliver top notch Jazz music while they created an everlasting legacy in the African music industry as a whole. They became the first African jazz group to record an LP and perform to a massive audience in Johannesburg and Cape Town through late 1959 to early 1960.
Up, Up and Away 1967:After relocating to the United States, following the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, Masekela released a good number of hit songs in America and his thrilling 1967 track, “Up, Up and Away” established his name as a force to reckon with at the international Jazz stage.
Techno Bush 1984: After amassing a vast number of recordings with the likes of Paul Simon and The Byrds, Masekela released the award-winning “Techno Bush album” in 1984. From that album, a single entitled “Don’t Go Lose It Baby” peaked at number two for two weeks on the dance charts.
Bring Him Back Home 1987: Masekela’s fame kept spreading sporadically and in 1987, he had a hit single “Bring Him Back Home”, which became an anthem for Nelson Mandela’s movement to freedom. The track reserved a spot for itself in the heart of almost every South African and Jazz lover worldwide.
Botswana International School Of Music: In 1985 Masekela founded the Botswana International School of Music (BISM), which held its first workshop in Gaborone in that year. The event, still in existence, continues as the annual Botswana Music Camp, giving local musicians of all ages and from all backgrounds the opportunity to play and perform together. Masekela taught the jazz course at the first workshop, and performed at the final concert.
Photo Credit: Getty

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