March 15, 2013


By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — South African music legend and performer extraordinaire Hugh Masekela will perform Tuesday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University. The event is sponsored, in part, by Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation.

A world-renowned flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, singer and defiant political voice, Masekela's solo career has spanned five decades.

He has released more than 40 albums and has worked with such diverse artists as Harry Belafonte, Dizzy Gillespie, The Byrds, Fela Kuti, Marvin Gaye, Herb Alpert, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and the late Miriam Makeba.

His 1968 single, "Grazin' in the Grass," topped the Rolling Stones' "Jumping Jack Flash" in the U.S. charts and brought him a Grammy Award. His hit, "Bring Him Back Home," became the anthem for Nelson Mandela's world tour following his release from prison. His recent albums have all gone platinum.

Born in 1939 in the town of Witbank, South Africa, Masekela left his homeland at the age of 21; he would spend the next 30 years in exile.

He enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music during a golden era of jazz music, immersing himself in the New York jazz scene, watching greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Mingus and Max Roach. Under the tutelage of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, he was encouraged to develop his own unique style, feeding off African rather than American influences. His debut album, released in 1963, was titled "Trumpet Africaine."

In the late 1960s Masekela moved to Los Angeles in the heat of the 'Summer of Love', where he was befriended by hippie icons like David Crosby, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. In 1967 Hugh performed at the Monterey Pop Festival alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, The Who and Jimi Hendrix.

In 1990 he returned home, following the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela, an event anticipated in his anti-apartheid anthem, "Bring Home Nelson Mandela" (1986) which had been a rallying cry around the world.

In 2004 Masekela published his autobiography, Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela.

In June 2010 he opened the FIFA Soccer World Cup Kick-Off Concert to a global audience and performed at the event's Opening Ceremony in Soweto's Soccer City. That same year, President Zuma honored him with the highest order in South Africa: The Order of Ikhamanga. A year later, Masekela received a Lifetime Achievement award at the WOMEX World Music Expo in Copenhagen.

The U.S. Virgin Islands proclaimed 'Hugh Masekela Day' in March 2011, not long after he joined U2 on stage during the Johannesburg leg of their 360 World Tour. In 2012 Masekela toured Europe with Paul Simon on the Graceland 25th Anniversary Tour.

Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors ages 62+, $10 for youth under 18 and $10 for all college students.

Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.bucknell.edu/BoxOffice, in person at any Box Office location, or by calling the Campus Box Office at 570-577-1000.

For more information about this event, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

For more information about future programming at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to www.facebook.com/WeisCenter or www.bucknell.edu/WeisCenter.

Contact: Division of Communications

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