Monday, June 13, 2011

Jazz in Africa, Artist Spotlight: Hugh Masekela

Leading up to our new show Jazz in Africa, we examine how African artists found a modern, global voice using jazz as inspiration, we will be periodically posting some cool tracks and background info on a few of the bands and artists that will be featured on the show.

We start with the jazz multi-instrumentalist/singer/composer Hugh Masekela, one of South Africa’s most famous and beloved musicians. Luckily for those of you in New York City, he will be playing two shows here this summer - one at Central Park Summer Stage on June 26, and one this weekend at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Check out the crazy, totally 80’s video for his dance-single “Don’t Go Lose It Baby” below.

Obviously he’s not just an 1980’s dance artist, having written classic jazz hits like “Grazin’ in the Grass” (1968) and having played with pretty much everyone who’s anyone in the South African music scene including Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Paul Simon on his Graceland tour in 1986. He was also featured in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert.

Seeing as he studied music from 1960-64 in New York and has played countless concerts in the U.S. over the years, he’s the perfect fit for our Jazz in Africa show.

Check out Afropop’s interview with him back in 2002 here.

Stay tuned for our forthcoming Hip Deep show at the end of this month.

Contributed by Henry Molofsky
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