Trumpeter, composer and singer Hugh Masekela, affectionately known as the ‘father of South African jazz’, has died after a long battle with prostate cancer, domestic media reported on Tuesday. He was 78.
Bra Hugh’s family issued a statement confirming the news. “After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family,” read the statement.
In a career spanning more than five decades, Masekela gained international recognition with his distinctive Afro-Jazz sound and hits such as “Soweto Blues”, which served as one of the sound-tracks to the anti-apartheid movement.
He opened the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup Kick-Off Concert and performed at the event’s opening ceremony in Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium.
South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa described Masekela as “one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz”:
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