A profile of one of South Africa’s finest musicians, Hugh Masekela, is to be screened as part of BBC 4’s Wonderful Africa Season on Friday 30 April.
Maskela, a trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer and singer, first picked up a trumpet in the 1950s and after mastering the instrument, went on to become one of the first African jazz artists to record an LP.
After years of creating music vividly portraying the struggles, sorrows, joys and passions of life in apartheid South Africa during the 1960s, Masekela left the brutality, oppression and racial segregation of SA behind for a life in America, where he shot to stardom with a little help from international friends Yehudi Menuhin,John Dankworth and Harry Belafonte.
In 1987, Masekela’s song ‘Bring Him Back Home’ became a smash hit and was adopted as the anthem for the movement to release Nelson Mandela. This led to a renewal of Masekela’s interest in his African roots and eventually, he returned to his native country.
Hugh Masekela continues to record actively and performs on a regular basis in venues and festivals throughout the world.
He returns to Symphony Hall Birmingham on Friday 7 May for a unique collaboration with the CBSO and the Town Hall Gospel Choir, for whom he has written a new work, as well as performing Jason Yarde?s Flugelhorn Concerto.
Hugh Masekela: Welcome to South Africa, which features performances from his 70th birthday concert at the Barbican in 2009, will be screened on BBC4 at 9pm on Friday 30 May.