Category Archives: International Bands/Musicians

Hugh Masekela

South Africa’s Trumpet Player and Activist Hugh Masekela Remembered

Text by Dawoud Kringle

On Tuesday, January 21st, 2018, the music world was saddened to hear that legendary trumpet player, composer, and music activist Hugh Masekela passed away from pancreatic cancer. Thus ended a career of over half a century. He was 79.

Masekela began playing trumpet in his teens (an apocrypha of his biography holds that his first trumpet was a gift from Louis Armstrong. Another version of the story holds that the instrument was donated by Armstrong to anti-apartheid chaplain Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, at St. Peter’s Secondary School). At the end of 1959, Dollar Brand (later known as Abdullah Ibrahim), Kippie Moeketsi, Makaya Ntshoko, Johnny Gertze and Hugh formed the Jazz Epistles, the first African jazz group to record an LP. Their 1959-60 concerts in Johannesburg and Cape Town were hugely successful.

March 21st, 1960 the Sharpeville massacre saw 69 protesters killed by police, the South African government banned gatherings of ten or more people, and the brutality of the Apartheid state became intolerable (apparently, the Apartheid government couldn’t understand why human beings refuse to be oppressed and enslaved). With the help of Trevor Huddleston, Yehudi Menuhin, and John Dankworth, Masekela left the country. Dankworth got Masakela admitted into London’s Guildhall School of Music.

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Lo'Jo

Recommended Concert: Lo’ Jo (France)

Date: 11/12/2017
Time: 12:30pm
Venue: The Public Theater (425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003)
Ticket: $20 (for two couples comp tickets are available. Please mail your names to sohrab.saadat@gmail.com)
Genre: World/Chanson/French trad.

Since they first got together in 1982, in a tiny village near Angiers, France, Lo’Jo have been one of the most eclectic, eccentric and mesmerizing musical collectives that Europe has ever produced. Like their British contemporaries, The Mekons, Lo’Jo are globetrotting legends and musical shapeshifters who’ve gone through many incarnations, and they’ve incorporated theater and visual art into their music since the beginning.

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Farewell, Thin White Duke…

Text by Dawoud Kringle

 Photo by Adam Bielawski

Photo by Adam Bielawski

On January 10th, 2016, the world was saddened to learn of the death of one of the most iconic figures in the history of rock music; David Bowie.

It’s difficult to imagine a more chameleon-like figure. Unlike most popular musicians whose success depended on sustaining what propelled them to notoriety in the first place, Bowie’s success was defined by constant change.

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