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Hugh Masekela On the Move

At 73, the South African icon is unstoppable

Hugh Masekela
Hugh Masekela

The powers that be, in music and in politics, have never been able to pin Hugh Masekela down because he’s always a step ahead. Apartheid drove him into exile but by no means muzzled him. He records in multiple genres and tongues, performs in venues from huge to intimate to downright claustrophobic, and voices opinions as proudly as he entertains. A master of trumpet, fluegelhorn and cornet, Masekela is a thrilling showman and a walking call to arms.

“I live in the world,” the 73-year-old says in his raspy tenor. “In my life, in my perspective of what life should be, we limit ourselves through conventions.” Excellence is all that counts. “For me, music is just music.”

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