Hugh Masekela (4 April, 1939 - 23 January, 2018) was a South African flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, singer and activist who was nominated for a Grammy award seven times, winning twice.
He was born in the town of Witbank, South Africa in 1939. At the age of 14, the respected advocator of equal rights in South Africa, Father Trevor Huddleston, provided Masekela with a trumpet and, soon after, the Huddleston Jazz Band was formed.
Masekela began to hone his now signature Afro-Jazz sound in the late 1950s during a period of intense creative collaboration, most notably performing in the 1959 musical King Kong, written by Todd Matshikiza, and, soon thereafter, as a member of the now legendary South African group, the Jazz Epistles (featuring the classic line up of Kippie Moeketsi, Abdullah Ibrahim and Jonas Gwangwa).
In 2015 he was the bandleader and co-host of the SABC2 sketch comedy series The Bantu Hour. He returned to executive produce the show in Season 2 in 2017/18, appearing as a guest.
Hugh was the father of American television host Sal Masekela.
Hugh died on Tuesday 23 January, 2018, after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 78.