There aren’t many musicians whose career is intimately bound up with the life of his country, especially not trumpeters.
By leaving his native South Africa for the USA in the early 1960s, jazz great and civil rights campaigner Hugh Masekela not only put himself on the path to international fame, he also shone a light on the anti-apartheid struggle in his homeland.
Try telling him today that he remains one of the most musical important figures worldwide of the past 50 years and he dismisses the idea out of hand.
“I’m not great, I’m grateful. My grandfather warned me that if I ever thought I was important, he’d throw lightning at me from his grave ” this living legend says emphatically down the line from a studio in South Africa where he’s recording his latest album.
Later this month fans will get the chance to see this politically-principled, charismatic figure who has done and seen it all playing a special show at Grassington Festival.
At the age of 73, the outspoken Hugh Masekela plays the Festival Marquee in Grassington on Tuesday, June 26.
For information and tickets, visit www.grassington-festival.org.uk
On the opening night of the festival on Friday, June 15, Harrogate singer-songwriter Rachel Goodwin of Waking the Witch fame will support hitmakers The South at Grassington Town Hall.