New Hazlett Theater
World renowned trumpeter, bandleader, composer, singer and activist Hugh Masekela is bringing his signature Afro-Jazz sound sound to the Northside for one memorable night. Born in South Africa in 1939, Masekela’s prolific solo career spans five decades and 40-plus albums. At age 21, Masekela left his homeland for NYC, where he enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music during the golden era of jazz. He honed his distinct sound while performing in the 1959 musical King Kong, and as a member of the legendary South African group, the Jazz Epistles. Under the guidance of jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, Masekela developed a unique style that culls from African influences, releasing his debut album, Trumpet Africaine, in 1963. In 1967, Masekela performed at the Monterey Pop Festival alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. His 1968 hit single, “Grazin’ in the Grass,” rocketed him to the international spotlight. A dedicated social activist, Masekela has worked with diverse musical luminaries such as Harry Belafonte, The Byrds, Fela Kuti, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. The decorated trumpeter has received numerous accolades including a Tony nomination, BBC Jazz Awards and the 2010 Order of Ikhamanga, the highest order in South Africa.