The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela
Publication Date: May 24, 2005
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Hugh Masekela is a giant of jazz and a pioneer in bringing the voice and spirit of Africa to the West, but his wild and moving tale transcends the world of music. A South African exile, he landed in New York, where he was adopted by bebop heroes like Dizzy Gillespie, and soon fell, headfirst, into the raucous swirl of 1960s America. During the thirty-year pilgrimage that followed, he stumbled into adventure after adventure, whether battling Don King over the Rumble in the Jungle concert, finding himself on the wrong side of revolutions all over West Africa, loving some of the most beautiful and volatile women in the world, or battling for the destruction of apartheid. When he finally returned to a free South Africa, he found the strength to confront the personal demons that tracked him around the world and discovered a new measure of peace at home. Unfolding against one of the most inspiring political transformations of the twentieth century, this is the engrossing chronicle of a remarkable, one-of-a-kind musical life.
In the last four decades, Hugh Masekela has recorded forty albums and sold more than five million recordings. D. Michael Cheers teaches at the University of Mississippi.
“Take a look at Hugh Masekela’s Still Grazing, and you’ll be in awe of the many lives packed into one.” —Vanity Fair
“This is musical history of global import.” —New York Times
“A wild tale as forceful and engaging as a Masekela trumpet solo.” —Paul Simon
“A must-read for everyone interested in the story of Africa, Europe, and the United States in the last half of the twentieth century.” —Quincy Troupe, coauthor of Miles: The Autobiography
“Music is the soaring theme that carries a rough ride . . . Hugh Masekela has survived it all, tells it all ardently, ribald and honest, from his admirable perspective of wisdom gained.” —Nadine Gordimer