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Photograph: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela Joins Paul Simon Graceland Tour!

Hugh Masekela Joins Paul Simon in London to Kick off the Graceland Tour!

Photograph: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Twenty five years after Hugh Masekela first collaborated with Paul Simon and now legendary SA musicians like Miriam Makeba and Ladysmith Black Mambazo on the Graceland album and subsequent tour – the two icons reunited on a Hyde Park Stage on 15 July 2012. The anniversary celebration included the original Graceland band, led by guitarist Ray Phiri as well as Ladysmith Black Mambazo and reggae star, Jimmy Cliff.

This celebratory concert marks the beginning of an anniversary tour that coincides with the release of a new edition of Graceland, which was recorded in Johannesburg last year and features a number of the musicians off the original album.

In 1987, South Africa was in a state of emergency, Nelson Mandela was behind bars and the South African people were utterly oppressed by the apartheid government. The international community established boycotts in support of the Struggle – including a cultural boycott that Paul Simon broke by recording Graceland in South Africa. Hugh Masekela defended him against international outcry at this contravention as it was not only hugely advantageous to the careers of the South African musicians involved, but also brought a much higher level of awareness of the South African situation to the world.

Twenty five years on, their anniversary tour is a joyous celebration of their longstanding friendship that is now welcomed in a democratic South Africa. Both septuagenarians show no signs of slowing down as they revel in the diverse, funky, beautiful music that brought them together.

The tour continues and Masekela joins Simon for the following appearances:

Brussels , Belgium 17 July Vorst Nationaal
Amsterdam, Netherlands 18 July Ziggo Dome
Herning, Denmark 20 July Jyske Bank Boxen, MCH
Stockholm , Sweden 22 July Ericsson Globe Arena
Olso, Norway 24 July Oslo Spektrum