Hugh Masekela, © griot GmbH and Hugh Masekela

May 14–16, 2009

Lifelines #1: Hugh Masekela

Concerts, Talks, Films, Reading

"Musical history of global import," said the Times about his life. And Nadine Gordimer: "He has brought the music of Africa to the world, yet has never lost his identity ..."

Beginning with a tribute to the South African trumpeter, composer and singer Hugh Masekela, the series Lifelines presents outstanding musicians, visual artists, writers, filmmakers and choreographers and their life's work. Hugh Masekela, who recently turned 70, is considered along with Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, and Miriam Makeba as the most influential African-American musician of the 20th Century. His life is inextricably linked to the fight against apartheid - whether as an adolescent in activist Trevor Huddleston’s jazz band with swing and the Sounds of the Townships, in exile after the massacre of Sharpesville, as the founder of a mobile recording studio for black music in Botswana at South Africa’s border, or with his successful composition "Bring Him Back Home" for Nelson Mandela's release. For him music has been the path to having a voice as a black man. During this Lifelines weekend Hugh Masekela encounters old and new cohorts and musicians for whom he has been a formative influence.

With special support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs