Hugh Masekela was a South African singer, trumpeter, cornetist and composer. He is known as the “father of South African jazz” due to his musical compositions. Prior to his death, Hugh Masekela net worth is estimated to be $2 million.
Hugh was born in Witbank, South African to Thomas Selena Masekea and Pauline Bowers Masekela. Hugh was interested in music and began singing & playing piano during his early age. By the time he was 14 years old, he started playing the trumpet.
Masekela mostly portrayed the music based on his life experiences. He portrayed the struggles and sorrows, joys and passions of his country on his music. Most of his music were based on slavery, government and hardships the people were living at that time.
In late 1960s, Hugh and his friends opened the Dollar Brand band. Other members on the jazz group were Kippie Moeketsi, Makhaya Ntshoko and Johnny Gertze. He then left South Africa and visited United States. At US, he went to Manhattan School of Music where he studied trumpet for 4 years.
Masekela released his debut album titled “Trumpet Africaine” in 1962 and since then he has released several albums till now like: Hugh Masekela’s Latest, Africa ’68, Masekela, Reconstruction, I Am Not Afraid, Colonial Man, Melody Maker, Herb Alpert/ Hugh Masekela, Tomorrow, Time, Sixty, Still Grazing, Revival, Jabulani, Friends, Playing @ Work and many more.
Some of his popular songs which topped the charts are “Up-Up and Away”, “Grazing in the Grass”, “Puffin On Down the Track”, “Riot”, “Skokiaan”, “Don’t Go Lose It Baby” and many more. In 1968 Masekela was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Pop Performance – Instrumental for Grazin’ in the Grass.
Marriage: Hugh was married to singer Miriam Makeba. They got married in 1964 but divorced in 1968. Together they has a son named Sal Masekela.
Death: On January 23, 2018 Masekela died in Johannesburg due to prostate cancer. He was 78 years old.