Dr Hugh Masekela to be honoured by jazz legions at the JoJ

Honoured. Dr Hugh Ramapolo Masekela will be remembered by industry fellows at opening of the 21st JoJ this week.

Visiting jazz exponents Cassandra Wilson and David Sanborn, will share the stage with the Horn Summit comprising of Hugh Masekela’s nephew, Selema Makgothi-Masekela ( guitar and will deliver spoken word); Suthukazi Arosi and Phu2ma Tiso, both on lead vocals, Percy Mbonani on Saxophone, Sydney Mavundla and Lwanda Gogana, both on Flugehorn as well as Leeroy Sauls on drums and vocals, and Cameron Ward on lead guitar.

They lead the opening night of the 21st edition of JoJ, on Thursday evening 27 that will see over 30 top jazz artists and upcoming musicians, penciled for three days ( 27 to 29) September, that is celebrated in mzansi as heritage month.

So expect a potpourri of African fashion Diaspora at the fest.

Dr Hugh was born in Witbank (Kwa-Guqa township), 1939 April and passed-on this year January 23 due to ill-health.

He was celebrated for his jazz compositions and for writing well-known anti-apartheid songs such as “Soweto Blues” and “Bring Him Back Home”.

Hugh was given his own instrument when he was 14, by Trevor Huddleston- then president of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement (via Louis Armstrong, the best known trumpeter of the day).

It said when the bug has beaten there’s no turning back- having shared stages with the likes of Paul Simon, Femi Kutu (Nigerian),  Janis Joplin and the Who, Harry Belafonte, Abdullah Ibrahim –then Dollar Brand, amongst others.

In SA he performed along chart-busters Oskido, Thandiswa Mazwai and DJ Black Coffee, and so on, until his untimely death.

Says Mantwa Chinoamadi, producer of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz:” Every year we strive to deliver an experience that jazz fans rarely come across in a good year.”

On a high, Suthukiza Arosi forms part of the Horn Summit that will remember and honour Masekela on Thursday evening.

“This year, being our 21st edition of the festival, is no different and we are delighted that we will host a trio of bands that lovers of jazz will have the privilege of seeing only on opening night and most probably not for a long time again – while celebrating the life and times of our very own, braHugh Masekela.

This is one not to be missed.”

As much as we tried to obtain first-hand information on what kind of a title song will be belted out on the evening, we failed dismally. Talk of confidentiality clause…

As a build up to this international gathering of galaxies, security and personnel were hard at work in and around the vicinity of Sandton, leaving nothing to chances.

It is scheduled from Sep 27 to 29 at the Sandton Convention Center.

Ticket prices: Opening night: R700, Day passes R795, Weekend passes:  R1 350

For more information on the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz log on to the website: http://www.joyofjazz.co.za/home

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