Hugh Masekela was a voice for the youth - ANC Youth League

Hugh Masekela. Credit:Supplied

Hugh Masekela. Credit:Supplied

By that time he had already notched a minor US hit the previous year with his cover of "Up, Up and Away" and had become recognized as a music pioneer in his native country through his work in the late 1950s with the bebop group the Jazz Epistles. Formed just before Masekela left apartheid South Africa for exile in May 1960, the band's only record, Jazz Epistle Verse 1, stands up as a gritty timeless classic, still unmatched in its vital transcendent expression.

- Jidenna (@Jidenna) January 23, 2018Hugh Masekela taught me more about South African culture and politics than anyone I ever met.

"If I can get a trumpet", he promised his chaplain, "I won't bother anybody". Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.

Trumpeter, composer, lyricist, singer, bandleader, father, struggle activist - Hugh Ramopolo Masekela filled his life with nearly as many roles as he recorded albums. He collaborated with many musicians including Herb Alpert and was married to South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba for two years. "The nation has lost a one of a kind musician". He released more than 40 albums, and toured in South Africa and internationally until late previous year.

"Soweto Blues" was written by Masekela in response to the Soweto riots of 1976 and the carnage that followed.

Masekela had been a virtuosic jazz musician in South Africa before landing in NY in 1960, aspiring to be a bebop star.

In her condolence message, Amina noted that Masekela was gifted in using the trumpet.

Masekela's career and life was entirely shaped by his political views and resistance.

National Football League finds Raiders complied with Rooney Rule after investigation
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The President and Executive Producer of All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) has said that the death of Masekela is a huge loss for the African continent.

And what an output it was.

It's an artistic approach that saw him turning up on many other recordings while in exile in the U.S.

"In 2010, Mr. Masekela was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in gold, South Africa's highest medal of honor", The Times reports.

With South African playwright Mbongeni Ngema, he composed and arranged the music for "Sarafina!", which opened in New York in 1987 - transforming "the oppression of black townships", New York Times theater critic Frank Rich wrote in a review, "into liberating singing and dancing that almost raises the theater's roof".

May his soul rest in peace and may his trumpet forever play on.

But it was always propelled by a desire to create and love and live and, mostly, to tell the stories of his community in the truest possible way - just like every true folk musician of the world.

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