RIP: Hugh Masekela, 1939-2018
Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk
“I can dig it, he can dig it, she can dig it,
We can dig it, they can dig it, you can dig it
Oh, let’s dig it. Can you dig it, baby?”
Back in 1968, we could all dig “Grazing in the Grass,” a No. 1 hit fueled by an insistent cowbell and the mighty, mighty horn of Hugh Masekela. The South African trumpeter, singer and staunch anti-apartheid activist died earlier today (Tuesday, January 23) in Johannesburg. He was 78.
Masekela recorded more than 40 albums during his career, beginning with his 1962 debut, Trumpet Africaine, and he collaborated with a wide variety of musicians, including Fela Kuti, Paul Simon, Miriam Makeba, Herb Alpert and many others.
Masekela made his last Greater Nippertown appearance at The Egg in 2014 headlining a concert in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid in South Africa.
LIVE: Hugh Masekela & Vusi Mahlasela @ The Egg, 10/7/14
Hugh Masekela’s obituary at The New York Times