Hugh Masekela's train comes to a halt

Hugh Masekela's train comes to a halt

A baobab of music, an icon who spoke his mind, at times vigorously, Masekela's contributions to the canon of South African culture and world music far outweigh the 40-odd albums he recorded. Masekela was known for his jazz compositions and for writing well-known anti-apartheid songs such as "Soweto Blues" and "Bring Him Back Home" which became an anthem for the movement to free Nelson Mandela. He creates music from his Africa's experiences andis known for excellent use of trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone and cornet instruments. In 1960 he moved to NY and enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music.

Pacific Press via Getty Images Trumpeter, composer and South African singer Hugh Masekela.

Read the tributes that have poured in from politicians and musicians around the world.

In June 2010, he performed at both the opening concert of the Fifa World Cup and the tournament's opening ceremony in Soweto's Soccer City with Femi Kuti. He worked with some West and Central Africans before setting up a mobile studio in Botswana from 1980 to 1984 with the help of Jive Records to reconnect with Southern African musicians. After the Manhattan Brothers tour of South Africa in 1958, Masekela joined the orchestra of South Africa's first successful musical King Kong, written by Todd Matshikiza.

Merkel says intensive talks with SPD lie ahead on coalition deal
But he stressed the pro-European credentials of the SPD and said the coalition blueprint showed "true European ambition". Previous attempts by the chancellor to join with other German political parties in a governing coalition failed.

"If these people are prevented from playing with us overseas", he continued, "and they are prevented from playing over there in South Africa because of the color of their skin, then I don't know what the people who want to help us are aiming at".

Growing violence and turmoil had led Masekela to leave South Africa in 1960 for exile in England and then the US, where he continued to reach a larger audience, appearing with the likes of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix at the famous 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. "It was hard, because I was a little bit more popular; men always like to know they're in control", she later told the Guardian, recalling the lead-up to their divorce in 1966.

But we can all take inspiration from Masekela's refusal to walk any kind of easy or prescribed line. In 1999, he married Ghanaian-born Elinam Cofie. In an account from the Sunday Times archives, Masekela explains that he "spends the next 25 years fighting as hard as [he] could for South Africa's liberation", as he was then officially in exile, only returning in 1990 after the release of Nelson Mandela. A complete list of survivors was not immediately available.

"Heritage restoration is my biggest obsession", he told the San Francisco Classical Voice in 2011.

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