Hugh Masekela (1939-2018)

The South African jazz composer and trumpeter died today at the age of 78. He was not only an accomplished jazz musician, he was also an anti-apartheid activist who lived in exile because to return to his native country during the apartheid era would be to court immediate arrest. His talent immediately made him recognized and befriended by other great politically conscious musicians such as Harry Belafonte and Yehudi Menuhin. He returned to South Africa in the early 1990s, after the end of apartheid. I had not known that he had been briefly married to Miriam Makeba for two years.

Even those for whom the name might be unfamiliar will immediately recognize his Grazing in the Grass, the recording that became a #1 pop hit in 1968.

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