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Hugh Masekela coming back to Kampala

Hugh Ramopolo Masekela popularly known as Hugh Masekela is set to perform in Kampala this month.

The South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer and singer will be perform at a benefit concert towards Rotary Blood Bank (Mengo) on 26th February at Kampala Serena Hotel. He will perform alongside Uganda’s Jazz maestro Isaiah Katumwa.

The veteran jazz singer last performed in Kampala in May 2015.

Isaiah Katumwa and Hugh Masekela perform at Kampala Serena in May 2015

Isaiah Katumwa said it’s a great honour for him to perform with the legendary singer again.

Isaiah Katumwa is excited about performing with Hugh Masekela again

“Another great honour for me to perform with the Legendary Hugh Masekela on a benefit concert towards Rotary Blood Bank (Mengo). Come jazz with us to save Lives, 26th February at Kampala Serena Hotel Serena,” Isaiah Katumwa said.

Who is Hugh Masekela?

Hugh Ramopolo Masekela is a South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer and singer. He is the father of American television host Sal Masekela.

Early life

Masekela was born in Kwa-Guqa Township, Witbank, South Africa. He began singing and playing piano as a child. At the age of 14, after seeing the film Young Man with a Horn (in which Kirk Douglas plays a character modelled on American jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke), Masekela took up playing the trumpet.

His first trumpet was given to him by Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, the anti-apartheid chaplain at St. Peter’s Secondary School. Huddleston asked the leader of the then Johannesburg “Native” Municipal Brass Band, Uncle Sauda, to teach Masekela the rudiments of trumpet playing.

Hugh Masekela with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Masekela quickly mastered the instrument. Soon, some of his schoolmates also became interested in playing instruments, leading to the formation of the Huddleston Jazz Band, South Africa’s first youth orchestra.

By 1956, after leading other ensembles, Masekela joined Alfred Herbert’s African Jazz Revue.Since 1954, Masekela has played music that closely reflects his life experience.

The agony, conflict, and exploitation South Africa faced during the 1950s and 1960s inspired and influenced him to make music and also spread political change. He was an artist who in his music vividly portrayed the struggles and sorrows, as well as the joys and passions of his country. His music protested about apartheid, slavery, government; the hardships individuals were living. Masekela reached a large population that also felt oppressed due to the country’s situation.

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