The latest praise for Hugh Masekela’s music and political activism has come from former Deputy President and current United Nations official, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Masekela passed away early Tuesday morning.
The Afro-jazz trumpeting legend was a regular visitor to the United States.
In one of his final shows, he was part of a star-studded line up that performed at the International Jazz Day concert hosted at the White House in 2016.
Mlambo-Ngcuka says Masekela was a legend, “someone who made music both as a weapon to fight apartheid but also a mechanism to help South Africans cope because we enjoyed and loved his music”.
She says: “We will remember him as a role model for many musicians that came after him, who embraced both the art and the fight for a better South Africa.”
Meanwhile, an American jazz expert has agreed with Masekela’s view that jazz is African before it’s African-American.
Host and producer of The Checkout on New York’s jazz public radio WBGO, Simon Rentner, joined the worldwide chorus of praise for Masekela.
Rentner says he interviewed the legendary jazz trumpeter several times.
He says: “I know that Hugh Masekela would want the world to know that jazz was African first not African-American but African which was contrary to American belief and opinion. The more that I learn about the music jazz, I tend to agree with him, jazz is African and Americans should reframe our way of thinking about this.”