KJ Video

Hugh Masekela; Monday, March 24, 2014

Hugh Masekela
Monday, March 24
Kuumbwa Jazz Center
9pm: ½ Price Night for Students

“…notorious for bucking the trend.” – Rolling Stone

More so than any other artist today, trumpeter and vocalist Hugh Masekela is the embodiment of African jazz. After honing what became the sound of ‘Afro-Jazz’ in the late 1950s, Masekela left his native South Africa for New York City, where he worked with Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong and garnered several instrumental pop hits. A truly global figure known for his activism against apartheid and his relationship with Miriam Makeba, Masekela has received the highest recognition in South Africa, “The Order of Ikhamanga.”

Born in 1939 in the town of Witbank, Masekela was given his first trumpet at the age of fourteen, by influential equal rights activist Father Trevor Huddleston.  From there, Masekela played in numerous jazz groups (including South Africa’s top jazz group at the time, The Jazz Epistles), as well as performing in the landmark 1959 South African musical, King Kong.

Seeking further musical experiences and relief from the oppression of apartheid, Masekela left South Africa in 1960 to attend the Manhattan School of Music.  Immersing himself in the New York City, he received tutelage from Gillespie and Armstrong, who encouraged him to develop his own tone, based off African influences, rather than American.  He released his debut album, Trumpet Africaine, in 1963, followed by a move to Los Angeles, a historic appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival and a #1 hit single, “Grazin’ In The Grass.”

Having returned to South Africa in 1990, Masekela has become one of the country’s national treasures and most revered figures.  He published his autobiography in 2004, kicked off the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup with a concert in Johannesburg and participated in Paul Simon’s Graceland’s 25th Anniversary Tour. He continues to release new music, including 2013’s Playing @ Work.  As Masekela puts it, “My biggest obsession is to show Africans and the world who the people of Africa really are” and it’s this commitment to his home continent that has continued to propel him since picking up that first trumpet at fourteen years old.

Hugh Masekela

DATE:  Monday, March 24, 2014
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIMES: 7:00 and 9:00 PM;   9:00 PM – ½ PRICE NIGHT FOR STUDENTS
PRICE: $30/Adv $35/Door, No Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227 

Media contact:
Siobham Falanga

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