Hugh Masekela – “Grazin’ in the Grass”

Hugh Masekela ((Photo: Mark Shoul/Courtesy of the artist)

Trumpeter and international jazz legend Hugh Masekela was born on this day (April 4) in Witbank, South Africa, in 1939. He would have turned 80 years old today. This figurehead of South African jazz drew from a variety of sources — traditional African folk music, jazz, rhythm & blues and more — to create music that touched hearts and enlightened minds. His art stood as an important voice against the apartheid politics of his home country. He also happens to be the inspiration behind today’s Google Doodle.

Today’s Song of the Day comes from a performance with Stevie Wonder at the United Nations in 2016, part of that year’s International Jazz Day Global Concert. (International Jazz Day returns this year from Melbourne, Australia, on April 30.) Sadly, Masekela died of complications related to prostate cancer on the morning of January 23, 2018.

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