Masekela, Hugh

Masekela, Hugh măs˝əkĕl´ə [key], 1939–, South African singer, composer, band leader, and trumpet player. After working with several South African jazz bands, he and his then-wife Miriam Makeba fled South Africa in the early 1960s because of apartheid . He subsequently studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. His music gradually began to fuse jazz with the African dance music known as mbaqanga. He became known to the American public with his number one hit single, Grazing in the Grass (1968), and was a producer of the 1980s South African–themed Broadway musical Serafina! His albums include Waiting for the Rain (1986), Tomorrow (1987), The Lasting Impressions of Ooga Booga (1996), and Sixty (2000).

See his autobiography, Still Grazing (2004, with D. M. Cheers).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: Popular and Jazz: Biographies

Browse by Subject