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From South Africa
The Rainbow Nation's jazz godfather
"I don't think any musician ever thinks about making a statement. I think everybody goes into music loving it. I just came from South Africa, a place that had been in a perpetual uprising since 1653. So the uprising had become a way of life." Hugh Masekela's recent words in The Observer modestly play down the extent that his position - as his homeland's most famous musician in a generation - galvanised anti-apartheid support both domestically and, crucially, on an international level. He brought the struggle of black South Africa into the living rooms of the wider world, one man and his trumpet playing tunes of defiance and tunes of hope. And while Hugh has seen better times dawn in South Africa, here is no complacent soul. He might have been in the vanguard for half a century, but the anger still simmers, the embers are still hot. "I don't think I have the power to forgive."
(Biography written by Nige Tassell 2012.
Pic: Mark Shoul)