• Biography

Hugh Masekela was known as a South African trumpeter, music composer, and singer. He was most famous for being "the father of South African jazz". His popular anti-apartheid songs are "Soweto Blues" and "Bring Him Back Home".


Background and Career

Hugh Masekela was born in the town of Witbank, South Africa in 1939. At 14 years old, his father Trevor Huddleston furnished Masekela with a trumpet and, before long, the Huddleston Jazz Band was formed. Masekela started to sharpen his signature Afro-Jazz sound in the late 1950s and was seen performing in the 1959 musical King Kong, composed by Todd Matshikiza.

In 1960, at 21 years old he left South Africa to go to New York where he was selected at the Manhattan School of Music. This was combined with a brilliant time of jazz music and the youthful Masekela submerged himself in the New York jazz scene where daily he watched greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Mingus and Max Roach. Under the tutelage of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, Hugh was urged to build up his own one of a kind style, bolstering off African as opposed to American influences. His introduction album, released in 1963, was entitled Trumpet Africaine.

In the late 1960s Hugh moved to Los Angeles where he was spotted by celebrities like David Crosby, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. In 1967, Hugh reached high levels of fame when performed at the Monterey Pop Festival with music legends like Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, The Who and Jimi Hendrix.

Personal Life


Hugh Masekela’s wife was the political activist, Miriam Makeba who was among the primary African musicians to increase overall acknowledgment and awareness of social issues. She was also known as Mama Africa. She was a South African actress, musician, songwriter, and a peace diplomat. She presented the "afro-look" style as she used to perform openly with an unkempt hair. She picked up praise in the wake of performing jazz, world music, and Afro-pop. Makeba was additionally a solid promoter against the white-minority and apartheid legislature of South Africa.

Makeba confronted a difficult youth experience when she was pushed to get a new line of work after her father passed away and her mother was imprisoned for selling Umqombothi. She started picking up popularity while in the United States when she released singles and collections, for example, "Pata" and "A night with Belafonte/Makeba".

Date modified: Aug 9, 2020
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