JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela has died at the age of 78 after a decade-long combat with most cancers, in keeping with an announcement from his household on Tuesday.
Often known as the “Father of South African jazz,” Masekela died in Johannesburg after what his household mentioned was a “protracted and brave battle with prostate most cancers.”
Trumpeter, singer and composer Masekela, affectionately identified regionally as “Bra Hugh,” began enjoying the horn at 14 and shortly turned an integral a part of the 1950s jazz scene in Johannesburg as a member of the Jazz Epistles.
In the 1960s he went into exile within the United Kingdom and the United States, the place he collaborated with American jazz legend Harry Belafonte and used his music to unfold consciousness in regards to the oppressive system of white-minority rule in South Africa. He additionally scored a global primary hit in 1968 with “Grazing In The Grass.”
He collaborated with many musicians together with Paul Simon and Herb Alpert. He was married to South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba for 2 years.
Many of his compositions have been in regards to the battle for majority rule and full democratic rights in South Africa. Masekela’s catchy composition “Bring Him Back Home” calling for Nelson Mandela to be launched from jail turned a global anthem for the anti-apartheid motion.
“Hugh’s world and activist contribution to and participation within the areas of music, theatre, and the humanities normally is contained within the minds and reminiscence of thousands and thousands throughout six continents,” the household assertion learn.
In October final yr, Masekela issued an announcement that he had been preventing prostate most cancers since 2008 and must cancel his skilled commitments to concentrate on his well being. He mentioned he began remedy after medical doctors discovered a “small ‘speck'” on his bladder, and had surgical procedure in March 2016 after the most cancers unfold.
Masekela additionally mentioned he felt an “imbalance” and had an eye fixed downside after a fall in April in Morocco by which he sprained his shoulder. He mentioned one other tumor was then found and he had surgical procedure.
“I am in a great area, as I battle this stealthy illness, and I urge all males to have common exams to test your individual situation,” his assertion mentioned, asking the media for privateness.
Condolences from followers poured out Tuesday on social media paying tribute to the influential musician’s profession.
“A baobob tree has fallen,” Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa’s minister for arts and tradition, wrote on Twitter. “The nation has misplaced a certainly one of a sort musician . We can safely say Bra Hugh was one of many nice architects of Afro-Jazz and he uplifted the soul of our nation via his timeless music.”
South African President Jacob Zuma expressed his condolences, saying Masekela “stored the torch of freedom alive globally, preventing apartheid via his music and mobilizing worldwide help for the battle for liberation and elevating consciousness of the evils of apartheid … His contribution to the battle for liberation won’t ever be forgotten.”
Masekela impressed generations of musicians in jazz and past and collaborated in recent times with South African home music DJ Black Coffee and others. “I’ve no phrases,” the DJ mentioned Tuesday on Twitter.