Trumpeter, composer and singer Hugh Masekela, affectionately known as the ‘father of South African jazz’, has died after a long battle with prostate cancer, domestic media reported on Tuesday, January 23, 2017. He was 78.
In a career spanning more than five decades, Masekela gained international recognition with his distinctive Afro-Jazz sound and hits such as “Soweto Blues”, which served as one of the sound-tracks to the anti-apartheid movement.
He opened the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup Kick-Off Concert and performed at the event’s opening ceremony in Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium.
South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa described Masekela as “one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz”:
A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind musician with the passing of Jazz legend bra Hugh Masekela. We can safely say bra Hugh was one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz and he uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music. #RIPBraHughMasekela pic.twitter.com/JVy47GA6aU
— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) January 23, 2018