Hugh Masekela

Google honours the South African father of Jazz!


Johannesburg, South Africa – Google’s Doodle today honours the late great South African jazz icon Hugh Masekela on what would have been his 80th birthday.

Born on 04 April 1939, in Kwa-Guqa township in Witbank, Hugh Masekela was best known as an international jazz trumpeter, composer and singer whose music was instrumental in spreading an anti-apartheid message around the world.

Masekela started learning to play the trumpet when he was 14, quickly mastered it and joined the Huddleston Jazz Band, South Africa’s first youth orchestra. Amid the oppression faced by black South Africans in the 1950s and 1960s, Hugh Masekela’s music took on the role of reflection on and protested against the situation. Following the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, the talented young man left South Africa to study music in London. Masekela would later move to the United States and marry legendary jazz vocalist Miriam Makeba, create hits such as Grazing in the Grass, and collaborate in scoring the Broadway play, Sarafina.

After 30 years in exile, Masekela returned to South Africa in 1990, following the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, where he continued to solidify his rightful place in musical fame halls as the Father of South African jazz. By the time Masekela released his 2004 autobiography, Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela, he had 40 albums under his belt and had explored funk and mbaqanga in addition to jazz. Hugh Masekela was a recipient of many honours including 3 Grammy Awards, 1 MTV Award, and two honorary doctorates.

On 23 January 2018, Masekela lost his battle against prostate cancer, however, his legacy lives on.

Google commemorates Hugh Masekela with birthday Doodle

Visit to see the doodle.

Sources: Google 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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