“It is now almost 60 years since he was given his first trumpet. As young passionate antiapartheid-activist he escaped from his country after the bloodbath of Sharpville and managed to achieve asylum in the US. There he created a musical body of work in which he mixed his Afro-Jazz and township-jive with pop, funk, soul, reggae and more, but always with an instantly recognisable Masekela signature.
Together with his criticism of Apartheid, he was also a fanatical critic of the Vietnam War which even led to his imprisonment. At the beginning of the Seventies he settled in West Africa, where Fela Kuti inspired him to add Afro-Beat to his dazzling musical mixture. He returned to South Africa in 1991 with a triumphant tour. Politically as well as musically, he still keeps a finger on the present. Again, he his critical of the politicians in his country just as he was during the Apartheid regime. As prominent musical activist, he has as much influence as an elder statesman.”
Hugh Masekela playing at Yoshi’s Oakland June 22nd
See on www.youtube.com