South African international Jazz icon Hugh Masekela is set to grace Isaiah Katumwa’s 20 years of Jazz music this year. The celebration is set for 8th May 2015 at Victoria Hall, Kampala Serena Hotel and Hugh Ramopolo Masekela, a South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, and singer will be the guest performer.Hugh Masekela will perform in Kampala in May
“It will be great for Isaiah Katumwa to celebrate 20 years of music with another international Jazz icon, Hugh Masekela,” a jazz fan said.
Who Is Isaiah Katumwa?
Isaiah Katumwa, a self-taught saxophonist, is Uganda’s Jazz pioneer, whose innovation has inspired many to embrace jazz music. Katumwa started his musical journey in primary school, at the tender age of 10. His breakthrough album, “Sinza”, was featured on “BBC Focus on Africa”. “Tumusinza” was the biggest hit on the album because its sound appealed to many different countries. He later recorded “Coming Home”.Isaiah Katumwa to celebrate 20 years of music
Katumwa’s blend of music is truly inspirational and spiritual, drawing deep from his traditional folk music and religious backgrounds – smooth jazz that reflects his identity as an African and a passionate Christian.
Isaiah continues to challenge and influence the industry for greater quality, skill, creativity and professionalism, not only in jazz, but African music.
Isaiah Katumwa has produced eight albums in his musical journey, and many more ear-tingling and groovy sounds are yet to follow.
Hugh Masekela is a world-renowned flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, singer and defiant political voice who remains deeply connected at home, while his international career sparkles. He has released over 40 albums and his solo career spans 50 years. Masekela shows no signs of slowing down, with a busy international tour schedule. His fan base around the world continues to grow.
Who is Hugh Masekela?
Hugh Ramopolo Masekela (born 4 April 1939) is a South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, and singer. He is the father of American television host Sal Masekela.
Masekela was born in Kwa-Guqa Township, Witbank, South Africa. He began singing and playing piano as a child. At age 14, after seeing the film Young Man with a Horn (in which Kirk Douglas plays a character modeled after American jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke), he 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. 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.Hugh Masekela
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: This inspired, 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.
Following a Manhattan Brothers tour of South Africa in 1958, Masekela wound up in the orchestra of the musical King Kong, written by Todd Matshikiza. King Kong was South Africa’s first blockbuster theatrical success, touring the country for a sold-out year with Miriam Makeba and the Manhattan Brothers’ Nathan Mdledle in the lead. The musical later went to London’s West End for two years.
At the end of 1959, Dollar Brand (later known as Abdullah Ibrahim), Kippie Moeketsi, Makhaya Ntshoko, Johnny Gertze and Hugh formed the Jazz Epistles, the first African jazz group to record an LP and perform to record-breaking audiences in Johannesburg and Cape Town through late 1959 to early 1960. Following the 21 March 1960 Sharpeville Massacre—where 69 peacefully protesting Africans were shot dead in Sharpeville, and the South African government banned gatherings of ten or more people—and the increased brutality of the Apartheid state, Masekela left the country. He was helped by Trevor Huddleston and international friends such as Yehudi Menuhin and John Dankworth, who got him admitted into London’s Guildhall School of Music. During that period, Masekela visited the United States, where he was befriended by Harry Belafonte. He attended Manhattan School of Music in New York, where he studied classical trumpet from 1960 to 1964. In 1964, Makeba and Masekela were married, divorcing two years later.
He had hits in the United States with the pop jazz tunes “Up, Up and Away” (1967) and the number-one smash “Grazing in the Grass” (1968), which sold four million copies. He also appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and was subsequently featured in the film Monterey Pop by D. A. Pennebaker. In 1974, Masekela and friend Stewart Levine organised the Zaire 74 music festival in Kinshasa set around The Rumble in the Jungle boxing match.
He has played primarily in jazz ensembles, with guest appearances on recordings by The Byrds (“So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” and “Lady Friend”) and Paul Simon (“Further to Fly”). In 1984, Masekela released the album Techno Bush; from that album, a single entitled “Don’t Go Lose It Baby” peaked at number two for two weeks on the dance charts. In 1987, he had a hit single with “Bring Him Back Home”, which became an anthem for the movement to free Nelson Mandela. A renewed interest in his African roots led Masekela to collaborate with West and Central African musicians, and finally to reconnect with Southern African players when he set up with the help of Jive Records a mobile studio in Botswana, just over the South African border, from 1980 to 1984. Here he re-absorbed and re-used mbaqanga strains, a style he has continued to use since his return to South Africa in the early 1990s. In the 1980s, he toured with Paul Simon in support of Simon’s album Graceland, which featured other South African artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miriam Makeba, Ray Phiri, and other elements of the band Kalahari, which Masekela recorded with in the 1980s. He also collaborated in the musical development for the Broadway play, Sarafina! He previously recorded with the band Kalahari.
In 2003, he was featured in the documentary film Amandla!. In 2004, he released his autobiography, Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela, co-authored with journalist D. Michael Cheers, which thoughtfully detailed Masekela’s struggles against apartheid in his homeland, as well as his personal struggles against alcoholism from the late 1970s through to the 1990s. In this period, he migrated, in his personal recording career, to mbaqanga, jazz/funk, and the blending of South African sounds to an adult contemporary sound, through two albums he recorded with Herb Alpert, and solo recordings, Techno-Bush (recorded in his studio in Botswana), Tomorrow (featuring the anthem “Bring Him Back Home”), Uptownship (a lush-sounding ode to American R&B), Beatin’ Aroun de Bush, Sixty, Time, and Revival. His song “Soweto Blues”, sung by his former wife, Miriam Makeba, is a blues/jazz piece that mourns the carnage of the Soweto riots in 1976. He has also provided interpretations of songs composed by Jorge Ben, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Caiphus Semenya, Jonas Gwangwa, Dorothy Masuka and Fela Kuti.
In 2009, Masekela released the album Phola (meaning “to get well, to heal”), his second recording for 4 Quarters Entertainment/Times Square Records. It includes some songs he wrote in the 1980s but never completed, as well as a reinterpretation of “The Joke of Life (Brinca de Vivre)”, which he recorded in the mid-1980s. Since October 2007, he has been a Board Member of the Woyome Foundation for Africa.
In 2010, Hugh Masekela was featured, with his son Salema, in a series of videos on ESPN. The series, called Umlando – Through My Father’s Eyes, was aired in 10 parts during ESPN’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The series focused on Hugh and Sal’s travels through South Africa. Hugh brought his son to the places he grew up. It was Sal’s first trip to his father’s homeland.
On 3 December 2013, Masekela guested with the Dave Matthews Band in Johannesburg, South Africa. He joined Rashawn Ross on trumpet for “Proudest Monkey” and “Grazing in the Grass”.
Masekela is involved in several social initiatives, and serves for instance as a director on the board of The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organization that provides a daily meal to students of township schools in Soweto.
Awards and honours
Hugh Masekela Grammy Awards History
Year Category Title Genre Label Result
1968 Best Contemporary Pop Performance – Instrumental Grazin’ in the Grass Pop Uni Records Nominated
University of York Honorary Doctorate in Music 2014
Order of Ikhamanga: 2010 South African National Orders Ceremony, 27 April 2010.
Ghana Music Awards: 2007 African Music Legend award
2005 Channel O Music Video Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award
2002 BBC Radio Jazz Awards: International Award of the Year
Nominated for Broadway’s 1988 Tony Award as Best Score (Musical), with music and lyrics collaborator Mbongeni Ngema, for Sarafina!