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Hugh Masekela, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

usherhalledinburgh

The Herald Scotland
By Rob Adams

Philip McGillicuddy was born in Liverpool and hung out with John, Paul, George, Ringo and … Mick before being washed across the seas to South Africa. The swim through all the muck gave him a certain complexion and a passing couple took pity on him, fished him out and – ach, you’ve twigged. I’m at it. Or rather, Hugh Masekela was at it, with an alternative biography.

The South African flugelhorn player and cultural icon is a rascal. He does almost as much leg-pulling as music-making. But it all adds up to a party, even if some dancers were out of their seats too early for Mr M’s liking.

Such keen audience participation is a tribute to the persuasiveness of Masekela’s groove because the opening numbers, coming close to smooth jazz with township-churchy melodies, were a clear indication that Masekela knows how to pace a gig. Fluctuating between skilful horn improvisations, percussion instruments, the vocal mic and a sort of personal tai chi, he has his band well drilled. When they do fire up, it’s relative, although guitarist Cameron Ward produced much appealingly stinging playing, and still geared towards making Masekela, rightly, the focus.

A very youthful 71, Masekela handles the limelight with ease, getting his message across succinctly and “toot tooting” his way through Stimela, his song about the coal train that brings forced labour into South Africa, without diluting its potency. Thereafter the dancers had his blessing and the groove eased up a notch without appearing to overtax the musicians.

Hugh Masekela Live – review by The Guardian

Hugh Masekela – Review

The Guardian
By Dave Simpson

“When I look at the time I have left,” Hugh Masekela told the Guardian last week, “I have to hurry up.” This may explain why the great South African trumpeter is such a bundle of energy on stage. Apparently aged 71 (you would never believe it), he performs for two hours, causing much amusement with his “man climbing imaginary rope” dancing. He has even learned a Newcastle dialect. “Hello Gits Heed!” he bellows, embarking on a surreal tale of how he was actually a Geordie who was swept up by a storm to a land of lions and walruses. “In the townships, one of the greatest delicacies was a goat’s head, so I was very excited to come here,” he continues, to uproar.

The same indefatigable energy accompanies his playing, as his remarkable tones power a mostly young band through jazz, funk, rock and soul and the Afrobeat/hi-life that inspired everything from Paul Simon’s Graceland to Vampire Weekend. The grooves are so infectious that even the venue’s stewards are dancing.

Masekela seems to speak through his horn – conveying every imaginable sound and emotion – and uses his voice in a similar way. The extraordinarily intense Coal Train sees him mimicking the steam engines that carried forced labour to Johannesburg, complete with a perfect “toot toot!” Apartheid may be no more, but his entertaining, educational songs resonate with tales of jailed campaigners. He touches on the environment and this week’s student riots, joking how “noisy” the British are, before mentioning people who are “running from men and women who they voted into power and have now forgotten about them”.

But he doesn’t linger, storming into Bob Marley’s Africa Unite, asking if “Gits Heed” would like some more.

Hugh Masekela in Toronto

hugh-masekela

The Whole Note
By Cathy Riches

The reigning king of African jazz-funk, Hugh Masekela, held court at Koerner Hall in Toronto on Saturday night. It was a subdued start to the evening as the trumpeter and his five-piece backing band opened with a series of breezy, mid-tempo grooves. It wasn’t until after the fourth tune that the band started to break a sweat and Masekela chose to speak to the audience. But I guess when you’re 71 you’re entitled to take a while to warm up.

When he did speak to the crowd he joked with us, chided us for being too quiet, told stories from his childhood and preached about gratitude. His singing–which he did a surprising amount of–was raw, full-throated and gravelly, in sharp contrast to his flugelhorn playing which was very controlled; soft and sweet one minute, clear and commanding the next.

Masekela is best known for his huge hit from the late 60s, Groovin’ in the Grass and since then hasn’t had a lot of North American radio play for his solo work, but has guested and toured with other performers such as Paul Simon. But he has been steadily working in South Africa, collaborating with and mentoring musicians there, protesting the political situation through music and regularly releasing records.

Once the band got going there was no stopping them as they played for over two and half hours, eventually getting the whole audience on its feet clapping, singing and celebrating along. The guitarist Cameron Ward got most of the spotlight when Masekela took a breather, as he alternated between iconic African sounds and wailing, distorted solos on his Stratocaster. Every band member got a little solo time to showcase their style, but the band’s strength was as a unit as they laid down solid, funky grooves enabling Masekela to stretch out and take us again and again on vocal, spoken word and instrumental adventures.

South African trumpeter gets the rhythm right

Globe and Mail
By J.D. Considine

In the 42 years since he became an international sensation through Grazing in the Grass, Hugh Masekela has played many roles, from the strictly musical to the overtly political. Here are a few of the parts he played at the end of his North American tour Saturday.

The Polemicist

“Hello, Toronto,” Masekela greeted the staid crowd at Koerner Hall. “Are you serious with that response?” Having seen news clips from the G20 Summit, Masekela said he knew that Torontonians were up for “a lot of trouble-making.”
“Don’t worry,” he added with a wink. “We’re on your side.”

A cross between Louis Armstrong and Robin Williams, Masekela manages to be simultaneously ingratiating and challenging, teasing the crowd while at the same time slipping in some very pointed commentary. For instance, after making light of how uptight some Torontonians can be — “You can tell they’ve never made noise before,” he joked, “not even in bed!” — he suggested that the next time they’re having a really good time, they think of those suffering due to natural disasters or oppressive governments.
Then he sang Stimela, about the coal train that brought generations of migrant workers to toil for a pittance in the mines of Johannesburg. It was catchy, horrifying and strangely uplifting. Even the uptight were smitten.

The Diplomat

Masekela saved his political content for the last song of his first set. Prior to that, he kept the focus squarely on the music – singing (mostly in Zulu), playing flugelhorn or percussion, and even dancing as the spirit moved him.

This was, after all, a show, not a rally, and Masekela made sure everybody was having a good time before getting into the serious stuff. So he kept the opening numbers light, slipped a mention of Toronto into his disco-era hit The Boy’s Doin’ It, and cut loose with a spirited mbaqanga tune before appealing to the audience’s conscience.

The Comedian

However much Masekela was interested in making a point, he was even more eager to win the audience over. In other words, he’s more a showman than a polemicist, and that, ultimately, was what kept bringing the crowd to its feet. It helps that, at 71, he not only remains in full control of his instrument but also dances like a demon; it also can’t hurt that he’s a born comic.

When he sang Lady, an Afrobeat classic by the Nigerian firebrand Fela Kuti, he used body language to make plain that the song was a satire, almost a burlesque, something that made the meaning clear to those who couldn’t follow the semi-English lyrics. Even Fela couldn’t twist the knife so deftly.

The Jazzman

As persuasive as he was when telling a joke or cajoling the crowd, Masekela was at his most eloquent when playing his hand-built silver flugelhorn. He’s not a flash player, emphasizing speed and high notes; like most South Africans, he’s more impressed by subtlety and wit, and his playing is full of both. In the lower register, his horn delivers the sweet, dark tone jazz fans normally associate with the flugelhorn, but in the upper reaches, his sound has the bright warmth of a cornet, so that his richly ornamented melodic lines almost shimmer against the insistence of the rhythm section.

His band, meanwhile, both supports his strengths and keeps him on his toes. Cameron Ward was an able foil, matching Masekela’s half-valved vocalizations with screaming, psychedelic guitar lines, while keyboardist Randal Skippers brought the crowd to its feet with a rollicking, gospel-inflected solo at the end of Grazing in the Grass.

Hugh Masekela puts down his trumpet, speaks his mind

Toronto Star
By Ashante Infantry Entertainment Reporter

“I believe that it’s incumbent upon every human being to stand up against injustice,” says Masekela.

At 71, legendary South African musician Hugh Masekela remains in full throttle. This year, he debuted, in Johannesburg, a well-received musical, Songs of Migration, celebrating tunes made by African migrant workers; co-hosted (with son Sal) the ESPN documentary Umlando: Through my Father’s Eyes, which aired during the World Cup; released his 28th album Jabulani; and is now touring North America with a sextet.

Mentored by trumpet icons Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, Masekela came to the fore with the 1968 hit “Grazing in the Grass.” His mélange of African rhythms, pop, R&B and jazz fuelled collaborations with the likes of Miriam Makeba (the first of his four wives), The Byrds, Fela Kuti, Herb Alpert and Paul Simon. And after 30 years living in the U.S., England and Botswana, he returned to South Africa in 1990 when Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

The Star spoke with the trumpeter, bandleader, composer and lyricist by phone from a Boston hotel.

In addition to concerts, you’re also giving workshops and lectures on this tour, including a recent one about the artist’s role as an activist; do you believe artists should agitate for change?

I believe that it’s incumbent upon every human being to stand up against injustice, because if they don’t, then they are just as guilty as everyone else in perpetuating the existing injustice. People tend to pass the buck onto artists or activists.

Perhaps artists are thought to have a greater reach than ordinary people.

I think everybody is not an ordinary person. You don’t necessarily have to be an artist or possess a large network of people. If you can reach one person it’s just as good.

The title of your new album Jabulani translates as “everybody get happy.” Is that your current state of mind?

My biggest obsession is heritage restoration. It’s a celebration of old South African wedding songs that I remember from my childhood and teenage days. It’s beautiful marching and dancing music, music of joy. I just wanted the things that I remember. I think our lives have become over-standardized, by especially technology and advertisement.

Africa in particular?

Especially Africa, because I think conquest and advertisement and television and religion has succeeded in manipulating the international African people into a pool of consumership and cheap labour, and in the process has divorced us from admiration of our heritage and relegated our heritage to being primitive and backward and pagan and barbaric; and we’ve come to believe as a society that fallacy. It’s important to turn it around.

Is that why you’ve gotten involved in theatre and film production?

Yes. It’s important for Africans to be at the centre for ownership of their heritage and the way they are portrayed and what our greatest wealth is, which is our heritage and our culture.

What does your production company have on the horizon?

I have two sons who are filmmakers and we’ve just finished a film called Soil that the older wrote and also directed in Ghana. I’m going to L.A. in another month where he lives to do the final edits and place the soundtrack that I did for it. It’s set in the ’50s in a small village outside Accra. It’s about land conflict with a woman as a central powerful figure.

And you have another son who is an ESPN host. No daughters?

Yes. My only girl, she looks after my business interests and our entertainment company . . . Actually, I have another daughter. I have a child, now a 43-year-old woman, in Sweden whom I’ve never met. It’s a strange story, but the mother has kept her away from me all these years. At this point I wonder if I’ll ever meet her.

I’m surprised she hasn’t tried to reach you now that she’s grown.

She hasn’t wanted to, because her mother . . . she sort of conceived the child without my knowledge and went back to Sweden. The Swedish look after all their people and (the authorities) wrote me a letter to say they look after their children and I shouldn’t bother. And I tried to say, “No, connect me,” but I think the mother was . . . I don’t know. If I could I’d tell you what the reasons were, but I don’t know myself. People are strange that way, but I think it’s unfair to the child that we made.

JUST THE FACTS

WHO: Hugh Masekela

WHEN: Saturday @ 8 p.m.

WHERE: Koerner Hall

TICKETS: $25-$65 at www.rcmusic.ca

Boston celebrates South African jazz legend

PHOTO: Courtesy of World Music/CrashArts

The Justice
By Wei-Huan Chen

Photo Courtesy of World Music/CrashArts

Veteran trumpet player and activist Hugh Masekela showed off his ageless musical skills and humor at his two-hour long concert last Friday.

Hugh Masekela was born in Memphis, Tenn. to two white parents. One day, 2-year-old Masekela was playing in the Mississippi River, accidentally fell in and was whisked away by the current. He was carried all the way into the Gulf of Mexico and out into the sea until he ended up in the shores of Cape Town, South Africa among the walruses and seals. As the toddler washed ashore in Africa, he spent his days eating oysters fed to him by the seals and rolling in the deep, dark mud-you see, that’s how he lost his white complexion and blonde hair. That’s how baby Hugh grew up in Cape Town, until one day, his parents happened to come from Memphis on vacation-what a coincidence! When they saw him, his momma exclaimed, “There’s my baby!” and picked him up to go back home. Hugh was finally back in Tennessee, and his parents even let him keep his dark skin and hair. And that’s how jazz music legend and anti-apartheid activist Hugh Masekela, 71, introduced himself during a spirited performance last Friday at the Berklee Performance Center. The audience, clearly loving Masekela’s tongue-in-cheek humor, burst into laughter as he told the intricate and seemingly improvised story about his origin.

In fact, Masekela was born in Witbank, South Africa and grew up facing the hardships and inequality that plagued the country during the 1950s and ’60s. As a trumpet player, singer, percussionist, composer and bandleader, his music vividly portrays Africa’s agony, protesting the government’s oppressive power and enforcement of apartheid. Songs like “Coal Train”-about the spiritual train that carried the enslaved men and women of Africa to redemption-describe Africa’s sorrow yet carry a hopeful and uplifting message, while “Bring Him Back Home”-composed in 1987-tells of “tomorrow,” the fateful day when Nelson Mandela would be freed from prison. That day eventually came in 1990, after the hit single served as an anthem all over the world for the movement to free Mandela.

“Tomorrow” has turned out to be brighter for both Masekela and Africa since those times of tyranny. Earlier this year, he helped South Africa make history by performing his Grammy-nominated tune “Grazing in the Grass” at the 2010 FIFA World Cup’s Kick-Off Celebration Concert. Masekela and his son, Sal Masekela from the E! television show Daily 10, were also featured during ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup in a series called Umlando-Through my Father’s Eyes. The series documented American-born Sal’s journey to his father’s homeland for the first time, visiting South Africa’s and learning about its history and culture.

The listeners at Berklee Performance Center experienced too a journey into Masekela’s world. His charisma was undeniable; you could feel his charm spreading into the packed concert hall and infecting everyone with his effervescent laughter. He’d do his old-man dance or sometimes break out the cowbell while the impressive five-piece ensemble behind him laid out jazz and Afrobeat grooves. This was a man who had not lost any bit of passion from his 40-plus years of global success.

The talent in Masekela’s group was astounding. I have to give props to the gifted keyboardist Randall Skippers for his extended and fiery solos, as well as to guitarist Cameron John Ward for his ability to flow beautifully between rhythmic and virtuosic solo roles. That’s not to say that the rest of the rhythm section-bassist Fana Zulu, percussionist Francis Manneh Fuster and drummer Lee-Roy Sauls-were not spot-on. The group allowed Masekela to shine as the star of the show, backing off their sound when he addressed the crowd.

“I know it’s cold out there, Boston,” Masekela said during a song, riling up the audience. “But don’t bring it in here. I’ve seen you at those sports games. I know you’re a noisy crowd.” In another one of his monologues, he said that the audience should stand up for the next song. The reaction was surprising-by the final moments of the concert, everyone was dancing in their seats and raising their hands to clap to the beat, while some even went up to the front of the stage to dance. I didn’t expect a crowd of mostly 30- and 40-year-olds to show so much energy, but these are people who have followed and loved Masekela for years. I saw individuals smiling wider than I’d ever seen after the concert, and heard more adults sing (many were belting “Tomorrow!”) in public than in any other place. Hugh Masekela had brought the gift of love to Boston.

The concert was part of a series hosted by nonprofit organization World Music/ CRASHarts. For the remainder of the fall season, the series will bring over 15 music and dance acts from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, like the Montréal-based RUBBERBANDance Group and Afrocubism, an ensemble that brings musicians from Cuba and Mali. More information about this world arts offering can be found on worldmusic.org.

Hugh Masekela Live

JazzTimes
By Karen Brundage-Johnson, Ph.D

PHOTO: COURTESY OF BEN JOHNSON
PHOTO: COURTESY OF BEN JOHNSON

The Zellerbach Theatre, in Philadelphia, PA, presented Grammy award-winning, legendary South African trumpet player Hugh Masekela. The performer, composer, producer and social activist, is best known for his integral role in Paul Simon’s tour behind the classic album Graceland. Also well known for bringing the energy and spirit of his native South Africa to the stage in his Broadway hit musical, Sarafina, Masekela has been making fun, exciting, empowering music for forty years and counting.

A pre-show artist chat took place at 7:00 PM. Hugh Masekela spoke with Carol Muller, Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Pennsylvania about South African music and its influence on the evolution of world music.

For the main performance Masekela was joined on stage by Francis Manneh Fuster, percussion; Abednigo “Fana” Zulu, bass; Randall Skippers, keyboards; Lee-Roy Sauls, drums; and Cameron John Ward, guitar. Masekela performed a mix of old favorites and music from his most recent album Phola.

Two numbers that are no surprise, but always a highlight of a Masekela concert, were “Grazin in the Grass” and “Stimela,” the coal train song.”Stimela” is a tribute to the migrant workers of South Africa and the trains that take them away from their families and towards the dangerous work miles underground by which they must make their living. This song never ceases to send goose bumps down your arms when performed live. The song opens with a spoken introduction, cowbell and train-whistle crescendo, Cameron John Ward on guitar provided a bluesy sound to the opening instrumentations. Masekela’s beautiful flugelhorn solo continued where the guitarist left off. The song escalated until all members of the band were singing a cappella which left the audience respectfully silent.

The performance of “Lady,” demonstrated the band’s ability to alternate between very soft and subtle passages in the song and interwoven with all-out funky phrasing. In one of Hugh’s most enduring compositions, “The Marketplace”, the band recreates through the music the setting of two lovers in and around a beautiful vegetable market with all its colors.

Masekela sang, played, imitated a train whistle, danced at the front of the stage, and had the audience on their feet throughout the show. He was unstoppable for two and one-half hours!

After the show, we joined Hugh backstage for an informal chat. He was very congenial, and humorous. He shared his thoughts on his music, in that it has always been dedicated to people who have struggled. One comment he shared that I will always remember is that it is incumbent upon everyone of us to refuse to accept injustice!

The Zellerbach Theater is part of the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and is located on the University of Pennsylvania Campus in Philadelphia, PA. and has a long history of offering audiences a diverse selection of cultural and artistic offerings. More information on their schedule and mission can be found at their web site.

Masekela: My music comes from my people

The Philadelphia Tribune
By Pheralyn Dove

The clarion cry of Hugh Masekela’s trumpet is still insistent, still emphatic. The message he carries through his music resounds as relevant today as it did more than 40 years ago when he began to receive international recognition as a leading voice hailing from South Africa, a land where the majority of the inhabitants were oppressed by the cruel and inhumane system of apartheid.

The trumpet master was in Philadelphia on Friday night as part of the Annenberg Center’s “African Roots Series.” Masekela, who celebrated his 71st birthday this year, sang, danced and played the flugelhorn, as well as an array of African percussion instruments. He was joined by a stellar band of musicians. The sextet featured Randall Skippers on keyboards, Cameron John Ward on guitar, Abednigo “Fana” Zulu on bass, Francis Maaneh Fuster on African percussion and Lee-Roy Sauls on trap drums.

Exuberance flowed from the stage and enveloped the audience at the Zellerbach, which filled the theater’s capacity, including all the seats in the balcony. Rhythmic, buoyant and melodic, the Masekela Sextet told stories, serenaded with ballads, and pierced the air with freedom songs, including the incredibly moving tribute to South Africa’s miners, “Coal Train.” Masekela doubled as teacher and entertainer. He elicited laughter with his nimble, sensuous and suggestive dance moves. He showed a serious side of his nature, dedicating the show to oppressed people the world over and people affected by horrific natural disasters, wars and strife.

The name Hugh Masekela is usually synonymous with the title “activist.” Yet during an interview following the concert, Masekela refuted the moniker, insisting that he was first and foremost a musician.

“I don’t think of myself as an activist,” he said. “I came from an internationally oppressed people. I grew up in a society that was always at odds with the establishment. I grew up in an environment that was characterized by boycotts, strikes, police brutality and murder. The greater percentage of the music I play comes from those people. I could never have had the life I have were it not for those people. So no, I don’t categorize myself as an activist. I’m just a child of a people who are still struggling — even today.”

Masekela’s sentiments were also expressed during a pre-show question and answer session that was moderated by Tracy Broyles, executive director of Spiral Q Puppet Theater. His response to the question of liberation for Africans during this current era of globalization was, “Globalization started long before slavery. Greed is the basic tenet of globalization. The right wing never sleeps. They work twice as hard to make sure the status quo never changes. Business is more important to them than human rights.”

According to Masekela, the end of Apartheid did not mark the end of the oppression of the indigenous African people. “The majority of the population only got the right to vote and a lack of harassment from the police. But any further changes would be bad for business. Same like here in the United States — the fruits of the Civil Rights Movement are very minimal.”

Magically, Masekela and his band were able to convey all of this information through the music. All of the instrumentalists received several standing ovations during sterling solo performances, and were called back for an encore. The finale was a performance of Masekela’s 1968 international hit, “Grazing in the Grass,” a recording that sold more than four million copies.

Molefi Asante, author of “Afrocentricity” and an African studies professor at Temple University said, “The performance was magnificent. It was reminiscent of a time when the music brought us together and taught us the lessons of our ancestors. Hugh Masekela was in his grandeur tonight.”

Fiber artist Betty Leacraft agreed with Asante’s observations. “I remember back in the ‘60s when ‘Grazing in the Grass’ first hit the airwaves. So it was just wonderful seeing him at this mature stage and still so full of spirit and movement.”

Hugh Masekela’s Memorial Hall performance delights music lovers

Daily Tarheel
By Tariq Luthun | The Daily Tar Heel

The jiving, smooth-stepping groove-machine known as Hugh Masekela called the Memorial Hall stage his home on Monday night.

And the trumpeter and civil rights activist combined his musical talent and winning personal charm to deliver an enthusiastic evening.

Following his band, Masekela arrived on stage in humble fashion, clad in a simple cotton shirt. With a humble bow, Masekela began his evening of music.

From then on, Masekela was both musically intense and playfully friendly. After hearing the applause from an anticipatory crowd, he grabbed a cowbell and began countering the beat that his band had played to open the show.

Later in the opening piece, the crowd saw Masekela switch instruments mid-song, from the cowbell to his specialty, the trumpet.

He rotated through a total of five instruments over the course of the night, primarily switching between the trumpet and cowbell.

For the most part, the stage was set up in a seemingly traditional jazz-band motif with percussion, smooth guitarist and bassist and a gifted keyboard player.

The first shift away from this was the conga drums neighboring the snare sets. As the night progressed, Masekela ventured beyond traditional-sounding jazz as he incorporated more traditional African sounds through the use of instruments such as the cabasa.

Masekela himself was seemingly flawless. The wise and talented musician blew, drummed and danced — and gave the nearly full house in Memorial Hall lots of infectious grins.

Not afraid to laugh at himself, Masekela joked with the audience, threatening to take them with him if “they weren’t so expensive.”

He urged the crowd to enjoy their night, but to send a prayer out to all those “catching hell” from government oppression or natural disaster.

Prior to the last song, Masekela credited his fellow band members and then spun a fabled version of his autobiography.

He said that he was originally from Memphis, Tenn., fell into a river and eventually ended up in the Gulf before drifting off to a coast of South Africa, where he was taken up by an elderly couple. The crowd roared with laughter.

The show was spectacular. While Masekela was the main draw, his band had solos of their own — especially the keyboard player Randal Skippers, from Cape Town, South Africa, who put on a memorable performance.

There was little wrong with the performance. Masekela’s deep, raspy sound was pleasing, but sometimes too low, as the singer tried to reach depths he may have been better-suited for in his youth.

Masekela ended the show with a piece that revolved around the term ‘calauza,’ which literally translates to ‘Hide the Hooch,’ following a folk tale of his youth.

Chapel Hill saw a giant take the stage Monday night, and this musical master not only embraced the stage, but made it his own as he befriended the audience with his musical might.

Contact the Arts Editor at artsdesk@unc.edu.

Musical Legend Brings Trumpet Grooves To North America

Opus3 artists

PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROCK PAPER SCISSOR
PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROCK PAPER SCISSOR

Hugh Masekela, born out of apartheid South Africa, has consistently toured worldwide and his genre-bending dynamism has led to his own icon status. His uncategorizable sound comes to life on his October 2010 North American tour.

After many years spent in exile from the violence and oppression of apartheid-era South Africa, Masekela returned 20 years ago to help rebuild his homeland. Masekela’s live performances continue to demonstrate his status as a South African musical freedom fighter.

“I come from a nation that has fought very hard for its dignity, liberation, and human freedom,” says Masekela. “Yet as Africans, we’ve never been able to project our image ourselves. We’ve been hoodwinked into thinking our culture is barbaric and savage. A lot of people think progress is what they see on TV. They’ve been turned into consumers who don’t produce anything. But our heritage is our biggest wealth. It’s more diverse and richer than anything else we have. And it is the only thing that cannot be taken away from us.”

“We’re coming there to play and make people happy,” concludes Masekela. “They dance their asses off at our shows. They are spiritually uplifted and that’s all you can be proud to be a part of. They go out of their way to come to our shows, so you gotta’ make them feel good!”

Hugh Masekela Fall 2010 US tour:
10/15, Fri Boston. MA Berklee Performance Center
10/16, Sat New York, NY Caregie Hall
10/17, Sun Westhampton Beach, NY The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
10/22, Fri Chicago. IL Symphony Center