Hugh Masekela at WOMADelaide - Review, Interview and Blog Excerpts
Caspar Llewellyn Smith
Photograph by Alicia Canter for the Guardian
It was a fine way to celebrate a 21st birthday: blistering temperatures, beautiful surroundings and plenty to learn from your elders. Some of the leading perfomers at WOMADelaide in Adelaide's Botanic Park were more than a match for their superannuated peers in the world of rock when it came to demonstrating that near-enough eligibility for a senior citizen's card is no barrier to putting on a show. For my tastes, the 64-year-old Jimmy Cliff on Saturday night was a bit too much the showman – particularly with his version of Hakuna Matata from The Lion King – but his contemporary Salif Keita was spellbinding once his band found their groove earlier the same night.
Keita was one of three leading acts from Mali at the festival this year, with a focus on that country because of the political turmoil and jihadist uprising. Vieux Farka Touré may always struggle to escape the shadow of his father, the late Ali Farka Touré, but Bassekou Kouyaté – whose family have played the ngoni for generations – is already well on his way to becoming a true star. His son, Mustafa, is in his band now, and took an impressive solo during their performance on the main stage on Friday night; but the look on his face later when his old man let rip with his instrument, making liberal use of his wah-wah pedal, told its own story. Like everyone in the audience, he just puffed out his cheeks as if to say "Woah!".
Bassekou and co were busy playing throughout the weekend – plus there was an appearance from his wife (and vocalist in the group) Amy at the Taste the World stage, where acts show off their cooking skills, one of the measures of WOMADelaide's civilised demeanour. I especially liked the sound of Novalima's ceviche, and the band of expat Peruvians also excelled on the third stage on Sunday afternoon. Likewise Brooklyn-based Afrobeat outfit Antibalas on Saturday, whose performance was perhaps especially charged because singer Amayo had heard the news the night before that his mother had passed away in his native Lagos; and also Moriarty, a band from France whose parents mostly came from the US, and who sound like they come from the backroads, somewhere way off any interstate.
It was, as well, a joy to get a sense of the rich diversity of musical life in this corner of the planet. The festival began with a traditional kaurna greeting from Stevie Goldsmith and dancers and encompassed a bluesy-take on Aboriginal music from East Journey, who come from the Yirrkala community in North East Arnhem Land; also a performance from Sing Sing, involving acts from across Oceania; vibrant Aussie hip-hop from the Herd; and two of the most talked-about acts in the country.
If Stevie Goldsmith represents a tradition that is several millennia old, Melbourne band the Cat Empire who headlined the main stage on Friday night may well stand for the future, with their kitchen-sink appropriation of genres from around the globe, including hip-hop, reggae and salsa. Similarly brave, in their own way, were funk-soul champions the Bamboos on Sunday, who've added a bit of gnarled rock to their schtick thanks to guest frontman Tim Rogers. Both acts drew vast crowds in the relative cool of the evening (it was still sticky in the pitch dark).
With more than 470 performers from 26 countries appearing over the course of the four days, any review could only scratch the surface of WOMADelaide: there was also the much talked about "Blank Page", performance art from the Compagnie Luc Amoros (looked good, even if the political messaging was a bit gauche); lots of buzz for the electro-swing of UK act the Correspondents (not to my taste, alas); the rock of the delicate-looking Algerian singer Souad Massi (inviting some dangerous-looking dancing as temperatures touched 40 degrees on Sunday afternoon); and Balkan swagger of that evening's headliner Goran Bregovic.
Bregovic came within a whisker of stealing the weekend. The Marco Pierre White lookalike is a masterful chef d'orchestre, as they say in other parts of the world; he looked like the boss man in his immaculate silver suit, but stay seated for most of his by turns moving and then uproarious performance, letting his superb 18-piece band - involving, I think, a mixture of authentic Gypsy players such as the Kosovan refugee goc drummer Muharem Redzepi and conservatory pros including saxophonist Stojan Dimovget - get on with it. But for the odd moment when he did calm things down - as with a rendition of his hilarious In the Death Car - he mesmerised, too.
Someone at the festival (was it the band Moriarty?) said that Adelaide has the highest number of serial killers per head of population in the world. I don't know about that. But on the basis of the dancing as Bregovic's set came to a close, there were certainly plenty of bona fide nutters there.
Best of all for this reviewer, though, as previously described, was Hugh Masekela, who headlined on Saturday, but also hung around the festival site all weekend, giving a talk in Speakers Corner and guesting on the Monday with the Soweto Gospel Choir. He showed with his own performance how he has learned to entertain over the years – busting some dance moves, playing famous songs such as Stimela, talking about the environment ("Let's make a resolution that when we see someone shitting on nature, we're going to say 'get off the pot!'"); but it's when he blows softly on his horn that the real magic is there.
"Not too bad for a boy from a shebeen," he said at one point, talking about his career and the distance it stretches from the township in South Africa in which he was born in 1939 – a phrase that might have served notice on his performance. But better came at the very end, when in the heat, he showed more effortless cool. The compere urged further applause "for a real legend", and the 73-year-old, already half-off stage, yelled back: "No one's a legend!"
Hugh Masekela - what I'm thinking about ... a crisis for African culture
It is said that 11 of the world's 20 fastest growing economies are in Africa, but when you talk about the economy, who are you talking about? The rich will benefit but the poor will always remain poor. In China, the economy is booming, but the poverty rate there is appalling; the US economy is the biggest in the world, but poverty there is appalling, too. So when you talk to me about the economy, in my mind that translates as "the establishment". The ones who run the economy, the ones who own it, are the ones who benefit from it.
In my view, Africa's real problems are cultural. In 20 years from now, when people ask my grandchildren who they are, they'll say "it is rumoured that we used to be Africans - long ago". I'm very interested in heritage restoration, and I'm working with a group of people to create a number of academies and performance spaces to encourage native arts and crafts and to explore African history.
I've got to where am in life not because of something I brought to the world but through something I found – the wealth of African culture.
Africa was not only conquered, but in conquest, through the imposition of new religions and the misunderstanding of the aims of education, and later on through advertising, Africans were manipulated into thinking that their own heritage is backward: primitive, pagan, heathen, barbaric. We need a renaissance to celebrate the wealth of diversity that really exists. Now, a renaissance is very expensive, but you don't have to force a thing on people who already own it, you just have to make the space for it to show it off - you let it grow from there. If there's going to be cultural advancement, it's going to have to come from the people themselves, but they have to be helped.
It's obvious that the rest of the world loves high African culture - African culture, period. Just look at a festival like WOMADelaide. But when people come to Africa they can't find it that easily because the African establishment has no interest in celebrating it. Governments in Africa - most governments, in fact - are allergic to this because they don't want to be upstaged. And it's to the benefit of international industry that the people of Africa remain an underclass - so they won't take ownership of the raw materials themselves. But if Africans recapture their culture they will naturally gravitate towards recapturing the continent. If they know more of who they are, they might not be willing to be so subservient.
It's not just Africa's problem; most of the world now has disappeared into laptops and iPhones and iPads. People think think that when they have these gadgets they are advancing.
Technology keeps changing the world, but music doesn't change, it's only 12 notes and six chords and it'll always be that. It's how they're juggled that makes great music and great musicians study that, whether it's Palestrina or Bach or Fela [Kuti]. But if you're into the dark glasses and chicks with their asses in the air and in your face … I don't know how much of it is music.
People talk to me about the rise of hip hop in Africa, too, but nothing that mechanical will last. The people look alike, and they're wearing the same outfits, and they're singing variations or rapping variations of the same thing. And yet the Hawaiians and the Indians sing variations of the same scales, but in there are beautiful songs, beautiful melodies. Anything that comes organically from people, musically, is what will last for ever. But what depends on a machine will always depend upon a machine. Until a bigger machine comes.
"Day 2 of WOMADelaide began with a talk from Hugh Masekela at the Speakers Corner stage. This is Caspar Llewellyn Smith again.
I'd actually bumped into the 73-year old last night, and asked whether he'd ever met Archie Shepp, the radical late 60s saxophonist, simply because I've been listening to his oeuvre recently. And of course Masekela had: “I knew Archie well … I never liked his music.” That led to a discussion about his close friend Miles Davis, which included a great Miles impersonation and the view that Miles lost the plot when he ventured into that Sly Stone/ Stockhausen thing of his in the early 70s. “I told him I'd come see him play again when he started playing music again.”
On this Saturday morning, in a front of a crowd desperately fanning themselves in the sticky heat, he was at it again, a little bit, casually mentioning his friendship with Bob Marley, for instance. But he can't help it if he's known and worked with several of the greats, because he is one himself, and a measure of that was his insistence here, talking of politics, that “the ordinary person is the hero of every society. In a place like South Africa, the real heroes are the unknown people”.
It was also a delight to hear Masekela talk about the importance to him of his school geography lessons: “we learnt how to draw the outline of every country, their physical features .. their products, their climate” etc, which, he complained doesn't happen any more. It meant that when he left South Africa after the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 and started his peripatetic existence that continues to this day – he has homes in South Africa, Ghana and California, though as he told me “I live in airports and hotels and festivals” - nowhere he went felt foreign to him.
“I don't recognise borders,” he told the audience, but talked about the vital cultural traditions of Africa. “If there were no Africans in America, it wouldn't be the place it is today – they'd still be wearing white wigs. Without Louis Armstrong, they'd still be walking straight, without a dip in their hip.” (Masekela, of course, once knew Armstrong too.)"
Review: Hugh Masekela & La-33
20 March 2013
The Big Idea
Along with Peru’s Novolima, Hugh Masekela and La-33, looked to be pretty much the most danceable musical acts in this year’s Auckland Arts Festival programme, and both proved to be so, but there were contrasts between the approach at the two venues.
South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela’s strengths as an entertainer carried his show at the Town Hall on Thursday. His history of anti-apartheid activism, and his reputation as a brass player took me to the concert with a set of expectations of tone that were cheerfully overturned.
Though his flugelhorn solos were magical, and highlights of evening, it was his skills as a band leader and front man that he relied on most. He had a warm banter going with the audience, alternately teasing and flattering, and proclaiming our status as ersatz Sowetans with a wink.
And his (frequently suggestive) dancing would have you thinking he was a much younger man than his 73 years. Many if not most are happy to let the Freudian aspect of the trumpet go unremarked, but he went there with a knowing smile, and it worked. He brought the audience into his circle of confidence.
And soon he had the audience calling back and forth to him. Sometimes unasked for. Sometimes in mutual unintelligibility.
The band he brought with him were slick, although perhaps too well rehearsed. Though they had only brief moments in the limelight, it was clear that they were very fine musicians in their own right, but the show lacked the loose spontaneity that I associate with the township grooves and high life styles.
Masekela’s politics finally came through in the more sombre tone of his classic Coal Train, which deals with the migration of young men from across Africa to work in the harsh conditions of South Africa’s diamond, and mineral mines.
“People always cheer for this song,“ he said in response to the hoots of recognition of the first few bars, “But I don’t know why. It is a sad song. So if you see me crying, please understand.”
Another musical highlight of the evening was a tribute to Fela Kuti, as Masekela covered the Afrobeat classic Lady.
But the evening was not without its flaws, and I believe they stem from the choice of venue.
It felt like Masekela was having to work hard against the formality of the venue and situation, as well as Auckland audiences’ legendary passivity being exacerbated by being seated. There was a tension between the expectations of a seated festival concert, and the music which just begged you to move your body.
Masekela exhorted the audience to their feet three times, only to have them sit down again at the end of each song in a domino effect, and by the third time up there were clearly older patrons who didn’t want to stand.
But it was also clear that there was a sizeable portion of the audience who did want to groove, and at the encore when a few brave souls broke the ice and ventured to the front to do so, the aisles quickly resembled a conga line traffic jam as what seemed like half the audience tried to join them. It felt like a release.
So I viewed the promise of “general admission seated” on tickets for Colombian Salsa band La-33 on Saturday with some suspicion, but The Festival Club lived up to its name.
There was no question about whether dancing was appropriate. A full house containing many Colombian expats, and a large contingent of Salsa dancers quickly transformed the floor of the Spiegeltent into a heaving night club atmosphere, which the band exploited from the first note.
This was helped by the removal of all seating from the main floor, leaving the booths around the edge and a few bar stools at the rear. When some audience members helped themselves to chairs and arranged them around the edge, these were whisked away by staff as soon as the patrons stood up to dance.
And you couldn’t avoid dancing. The style of Salsa Dura, “hard Salsa”, emphasises rhythm and the horn section, and both were about as good as it gets.
The band’s 11 man lineup included a very tight four piece horn section, keys and bass, and more percussion than you could shake a maraca at, as the three front men pulled double duty when not singing lead and joined the conga, timbales and cowbells.
Though there was little English spoken, the band seemed to have no trouble communicating their energy to an equally excited crowd. To be fair, there were probably a number of Spanish speakers in the audience who understood just fine. The rest of us got the gist.
One word I caught in an introduction sounded like “Police”, and somewhat surprisingly the band launched into the lyrics of 80’s classic Roxanne. The programme also included Pantera Mambo, a catchy reworking of Henry Mancini’s The Pink Panther.
The band didn’t let up for more than a minute or two at a time, and cries of “Orta! Orta!” brought them back to the stage for an encore of several songs, including a memorable musically pyrotechnic and interactive saxophone solo, while the band remained frozen in place.
In all, both concerts left me energised, but the contrast between the two came down to the signals sent by the choice of venue and the way it is set up.
The Spiegeltent Festival Club is informal and intimate, and that is a strong combination. It welcomes the audience into the experience as participants rather than observers.
As the more traditional arts festival fare is supplemented by these very popular and danceable artists, it seems as if there is a shift needed in venue programming towards those less formal situations. In the case of Hugh Masekela, that could have been as simple as selling the stalls as standing general admission, while still allowing for seated patrons upstairs.
Festival organisers need only ask themselves the question “would you like to dance?”
And then accommodate the audience who do.
14 March 2013
Town Hall, Auckland
16 March 2013
Festival Club, Aotea Square, Auckland
Hugh Masekela – Playing @ Work
13 March 2013
The Citizen Online
BRA Hugh Masekela is back in his melodic popular jazz element with this album, which sounds like it was recorded in a jovial setting.
Even with songs that have serious messages, like Africa Hold Hands, Masekela plays with the arrangements, creating songs that could easily be enjoyed at a wedding or party but in which he tackles issues such as xenophobia and pan-Afri-canism. Vocals play a huge role, with sharp lyrics that tell stories of years and years of knowledge and experience.
Go Look Out For Mama is a soulful meditation and speaks of the balance to be found in this album. Masekela has made his name long ago and he now makes his music with a great awareness of self and what he stands for.
He is simply playing at work, as the title suggests.
US Churches Honour Bra Hugh
22 January 2013
Veteran trumpeter Hugh Masekela followed in Archbishop Desmond Tutu's footsteps in being honoured with a "Keepers of the Flame" award at the African American Church Inaugural Ball on Sunday night.
The event - to honour Barack Obama's re-election as US president - follows the one in 2009 when Obama assumed office.
Masekela performed a musical tribute to former president Nelson Mandela at the black-tie event held at The Grand Hyatt in Washington.
The event's programme read: "Hugh Masekela is a world-renowned musician, composer, and a defiant political voice who remains deeply connected to his homeland and the world.
"The agony, conflict, and exploitation South Africa faced during the 1950s and 1960s inspired the world. Masekela is known for his musical mix of jazz, bebop, funk and Afrobeat. He has won numerous awards, made countless records and established himself as a towering musical presence."
The event was themed "Lift Every Voice and Sing".
Others honoured included boxing legend Muhammad Ali; the first African American astronaut candidate, Ed Dwight; the first African American to be appointed as surgeon-general of the US, Jocelyn Elders; and singer Aretha Franklin.
The Rev W Franklyn Richardson, who is the chairman of the Conference of National Black Churches, hosted the event.
Those honoured in 2009 included author and poet Maya Angelou, publisher and philanthropist Earl Graves snr, civil rights activist and Baptist minister the Rev Al Sharpton and Tutu.
Journalist Roland Martin tweeted yesterday: "Just got a wonderful word of encouragement from South African artist Hugh Masekela! He said I have lots of fans in the Motherland! #honored [sic].
"Masekela said to always speak truth on @cnn and don't stop fighting. We need your voice to speak to the world. I was touched by his words ."
African American Church Inaugural Ball Celebrates 2nd Inauguration of Pres. Obama; Honors ‘2013 Keepers of the Flame’
9 January 2013
New Journal and Guide
The African American Church Inaugural Ball will be held on Sunday, January 20, 2013, at 6 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Like its premiere event in 2009, this year’s event will feature leaders and influencers from the religious, civic, business, arts, and entertainment communities. Attendees will gather to honor the 44th U.S. president, Barack Obama, and the great history and strength of the African American church, and its impact on the community.
Themed, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the African American Church Inaugural Ball will honor extraordinary leaders with the “2013 Keepers of the Flame” Award. The recipients are individuals who have sustained an unshakable commitment to our future and who have earned an undeniable place in the African American book of history. Confirmed honorees include: Muhammad Ali; Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.; Bishop Philip R. Cousin, Sr.; Andraé Crouch; Ed Dwight; Joycelyn Elders, MD; Bishop William H. Graves, Sr.; Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale; Hugh Masekela; Rev. Dr. Otis J. Moss, Jr.; Jessye Norman; Beny Primm, MD, and Cicely Tyson.
Other honorees to be confirmed include: The Honorable Andrew Young, Hon. William J. Clinton, Ruby Dee, Aretha Franklin, Rev. Dr. Cain Hope Felder, Rev. Dr. Katie Cannon, and Dr. Vernon J. Jordan, Sr.
In 2009, distinguished honorees included: Dr. Maya Angelou, Donna Brazile, Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Dr. Marian Wright Edelman, Dr. John Hope Franklin, Earl Graves, Sr., Rev. Dr. William H. Gray, III, Bishop Barbara Harris, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, The Honorable Alexis Herman, Rev. Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Marc Morial, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Gardner Taylor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker, Sr.
As part of the evening’s celebration, musical legend and 2013 Keeper of the Flame Honoree Hugh Masekela to present a musical tribute to SA President Nelson Mandela in honor of President Barack H. Obama.
“This inauguration is an extraordinary mark in American history, punctuated by those who so gallantly served so we could see such a time,” said Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, II, Inaugural Ball Chair and pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Mt. Vernon, NY. “This is certainly a time when the African American church community can be proud of its contributions to this great country and honor the work that has been done and those who have made an indelible footprint in the sands of history.”
The Executive Producer is Pernessa Seele, who is the Founder/CEO of The Balm In Gilead, Inc., the gala’s fundraising beneficiary. The Balm In Gilead, a nonprofit, international organization, is committed to a dynamic, community-driven approach, contributing a lasting response to health disparities and ensuring that African Americans will become fully knowledgeable about the Affordable Care Act.
“A new day is dawning, as the leadership of African American churches mark another historic moment in America’s history, while making a commitment to address health disparities, including the enormous challenges of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, cervical cancer, and sexual violence,” said Seele.
“This African American Church Inaugural Ball not only celebrates history and President Obama’s second term, it also honors the work that he has enacted, such as The Affordable Care Act, an essential tool for decreasing the rates of preventable diseases in African American communities. The Balm In Gilead is proud to be in partnership with our president, and we responsibly take the charge to ensure that faith institutions have the appropriate tools for educating their communities about this signature law that President Barack Obama has stamped into American history.”
Seele, whose voice spans continents, was included in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Persons in the World and Essence Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women Shaping Our World, along with Oprah Winfrey.
For more information on the African American Church Inaugural Ball, visit www.AACIB.com. For more information on Pernessa Seele and The Balm In Gilead, visit www.balmingilead.org.
Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis: Friends - Review
10 December 2012
Rolling Stone: 4 Stars
“We all do ‘do, re, mi’, but you have to find the other notes yourself,” advised Louis Armstrong. Bra Hugh’s been exploring those other notes since Satchmo sent him his first horn back in the ’50s. After six decades spent trying to prove his so-called jazz credentials to tone-deaf critics, Masekela’s finally smiling. At 73, he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. But here he is, hooking up with longtime buddy Larry Willis to swing through a set of 40 straight-ahead jazz standards. That’s right: a four-CD set. And damn, do Masekela and Willis swing. The opening quartet disc featuring Victor Masondo (bass) and Leroy Sauls (drums) eases the listener straight into the sentimental mood with a lilting rendition of “Body and Soul” and a groovelaced take on Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” prepping the path for a “’Round Midnight” reading of Thelonious’ “Monk’s Mood”. The rest of the triple play is a chance for Hughie and Larry to celebrate their love for the Great American Songbook – from breathtakingly beautiful ballad improvisations (Gershwin’s “I Loves You Porgy”, Ellington’s “Come Sunday”) and sprightly call-and-response conversations (“The Days of Wine and Roses”) to old-timey Tin Pan Alley folk croons (Hoagy Cramichael’s “Rocking Chair”). Of course, Hugh isn’t just any horn man. He knows what pops. So he woos the ladies with a muted Miles-style makeover of Michel Legrand’s Thomas Crown Affair theme come-on “The Windmills of Your Mind”. Then completes the consummation by bleeding the melody from Bread’s ’70s soft-rock smash “If” into Sammy Cahn and Charlie Chaplin’s “Until the Real Thing Comes Along”!
Bra Hugh Masekela Nominated For a Grammy
Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean, Kanye West earn six nods apiece
07 December 2012
Legendary South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela has been nominated for a Grammy for his 2010 album Jabulani in the best world music category.
The Black Keys scored five nominations for the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Wednesday night, and singer Dan Auerbach earned a sixth, putting him among a crowded field of artists with six nods each, including Jay-Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons and fun.
It's a strong showing for the Black Keys, who released their seventh album, El Camino, last December. The duo's LP is up for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album, while their song "Lonely Boy" is nominated for Record of the Year, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song. Auerbach is also nominated for non-classical Producer of the Year for his work on El Camino and albums by Dr. John and Hacienda.
New York indie-pop band fun. and R&B singer Ocean will face off against the Keys with nominations for Record of the Year and Album of the Year, and against each other for Best New Artist, where Alabama Shakes, the Lumineers and Hunter Hayes are also contenders. Mumford & Sons' Babel and Jack White's Blunderbuss round out the Album of the Year contenders, along with fun.'s Some Nights and Ocean's Channel Orange.
Along with Ocean's "Thinkin Bout You" and fun.'s "We Are Young," the other nominees for Record of the Year, an artist's award, are Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger," Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." "We Are Young" and "Stronger" are also nominated for Song of the Year, a songwriter's award. They'll vie against Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call MeMaybe," Miguel's "Adorn" and Ed Sheeran's "The A Team."
Jay-Z and West's 2011 album Watch the Throne yielded nominations in Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for "N***as in Paris," and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "No Church in the Wild" (which accounts for another of Ocean's nods). West will compete against himself in Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance: his song "Mercy" is nominated in each.
Along with El Camino, the other Best Rock Album nominees are Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto, Muse's The 2nd Law, Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball and White's Blunderbuss. Springsteen and White earned three nominations each.
The nominees were announced on Wednesday night during the Grammy Nominations Concert Live in Nashville, where the Who, Maroon 5, Ne-Yo, and fun. performed. The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will air on CBS on February 10th, 2013. Nominees in the major categories are below. The full list is at Grammy.com.
Album of the Year
El Camino – The Black Keys
Some Nights – Fun.
Babel – Mumford & Sons
Channel Orange – Frank Ocean
Blunderbuss – Jack White
Record of the Year
"Lonely Boy" – The Black Keys
"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" – Kelly Clarkson
"We Are Young" – Fun., featuring Janelle Monáe
"Somebody That I Used To Know" – Gotye, featuring Kimbra
"Thinkin Bout You" – Frank Ocean
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" – Taylor Swift
Best New Artist
Song of the Year
"The A Team" – Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Ed Sheeran)
"Adorn" – Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
"Call Me Maybe" – Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen and Josh Ramsay, songwriters (Carly Rae Jepsen)
"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" – Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin and Ali Tamposi, songwriters (Kelly Clarkson)
"We Are Young" – Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun., featuring Janelle Monáe)
16 DECEMBER 2012 SOWETO PERFORMANCE POSTPONED
14 December 2012
House of Masekela
Johannesburg, South Africa -- Due to unpredictable circumstances, Semopa Entertainment, Assupol and Hilltop Live regret to inform that the Hugh Masekela performance scheduled for the Soweto Cricket Oval on Sunday 16 December 2012, has been postponed.
The venue's parking area and adjacent field were the subject of a double booking at municipal level and this administrative misfortune has caused us to reconsider the event.
As we do not wish to compromise the safety of our audience and smooth running of our event, we have decided to reschedule the concert for the first weekend in March 2013. (Full details with new lineup to be announced in mid – January 2013).
Any tickets already bought through Computicket will be fully refunded. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused, but we look forward to hosting everyone at the re-scheduled event in 2013.
For further information please contact
084 400 3003
082 881 8565
Hugh Masekela Nominated for a Grammy® -
“Best World Music” Category for his 2010 Album “Jabulani”
6 December 2012
Legendary Jazz-Icon Hugh Masekela has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the “Best World Music Album” category for the album “Jabulani”- Produced and arranged by Don Laka,& released through the Gallo Record Company label in South Africa and Razor & Tie Records in the USA.
The critically acclaimed release “Jabulani” was recorded in Johannesburg in 2010, and features a selection of traditional African weddings songs that were re-interpreted by Masekela, and includes the hit single and video "Sossie" as well as the live favourite “Makoti”.
It has been over 30 years since Masekela received his first Grammy® nomination for “Grazin’ In The Grass” in 1968.
“Wow! This is most unexpected, - I’m baffled and humbled at the same time” says Masekela
Masekela has released 43 albums since his career began in the mid - 50’s & has recorded and performed with some of the worlds most celebrated artists including the late great Miriam Makeba, Paul Simon, U2, Fela Kuti, The Crusaders (Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Stix Hooper), The Byrds, The Mahotella Queens, Herb Alpert, Ladysmith Black Mambazo & Manu Dibango to name a few.
Masekela is nominated alongside Amadou & Miriam, Daniel Ho, Anoushka Shankar & Ravi Shankar for “Best World Music Album” category for the 2013 Grammy® Awards to be held February 10th 2013.
Download Hugh Masekela “Jabulani” on ITunes
For further information please contact:
082 881 8565
Gallo Record Company:
Tel: 011 280 5763
Assupol Presents the Legendary Hugh Masekela’s Township Tour
30 November 2012
House Of Masekela
Celebrated trumpeter and world-class artist Hugh Masekela will, this December, bring his music home to the very humble beginnings that shaped his upbringing and gave rise to his musical career.
In partnership with Assupol, one of South Africa’s oldest insurance companies, the award-winning artist will kick off his regional township tour with two concerts, featuring music from his brand new release, “Playing @ Work”, as well as the old favourites that he’s famous for.
On 9 December Masekela kicks off this musical extravaganza at the 3 Square Grounds, Alexandra. This performance marks a very important and sentimental moment in Masekela’s career.
“It fills my heart with such heavy emotion to be taking my music back to where it started. There’s a lot of historical significance to this. Music was the life and soul of the townships. It gave people hope and an avenue to express themselves and address socio-political ills of the time. Music was everything,” says Masekela.
Although he was born in Witbank, Bra Hugh spent his formative years in Alex, and this is where he discovered his love for music and began his association with Archbishop Trevor Huddleston. After 50 years touring the world's stages, Sun 9 December will mark the first time that this international icon has performed in his childhood stomping ground. It will be a momentous occasion indeed.
Following the Alex performance, Masekela will move on to Soweto, where he will perform at the historic Soweto Cricket Oval in Rockville on Sunday 16 December.
Assupol Marketing Executive, Velmah Nzembela says the fact that Masekela’s music still resonates in South Africa and around the world after more than 50 years is a sign of its resilience and his ability to adapt to changing times.
Hugh Masekela’s music and persona serve as bridge between the generation that imbibed mbaqanga and kwela music in yesteryear and the current one that feeds on Afro-pop and African language hip-hop.
Nzembela adds that Assupol sees this collaboration as a beginning of its drive to deepen the brand in communities where its policyholders are found. “What better way to do this than to use the universal language of music by an icon of Masekela’s stature.
Bra Hugh will be joined on stage by two of his protégés at both concerts, namely Pu2Ma and the Complete Vocal Quartet – as well as support artists Condry Ziqubu in Alexandra and Khaya Mahlangu in Soweto.
Both township dates promise to be fun-filled family occasions with proceedings kicking off at 13h00 – and picnic baskets, blankets and dancing under the sun will be the order of the day.
Tickets are R120 presale, and R150 at the gate and are available from Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers.
This concert is made possible by Assupol and supported by Soweto TV, Alex FM and Jozi FM.
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS