End of an era as curtains come down on Jazz maestro Hugh Masekela

Hugh Masekela performing at a past concert in Nairobi.

Iconic South African trumpeter and composer Hugh Masekela has died, his family has confirmed.
A statement released on Tuesday said the jazz legend died peacefully surrounded by family.
Masekela, 78, had been battling prostrate cancer since 2008.

His Twitter handle read “No more pain.”

Hugh Masekela.

A screen grab of a tweet from jazz legend Hugh Masekela’s Twitter handle. PHOTO | TWITTER

In a statement, the family expressed their grief, saying he was “a loving father, brother, grandfather and friend.

“Our hearts beat with profound loss.
“Hugh Masekela was someone who always engaged robustly with the press on musical and social political issues.”

The family said it would in due course release details of memorial and burial services.

As news of the legend’s death spread, tributes poured in from all over the world praising him for his contribution to music and his fight against apartheid.

@KhanyiDhlomo tweeted: “Such devastating news about the passing on of SA’s Father of Jazz Hugh Masekela. Condolences to the Masekela family. Lala ngoxolo Bra Hugh. What a life. What a legend.”

@PieterHowes tweeted: “Bra Hugh Masekela!!! Another titan has fallen. What a gift he was, not only to musicians and devoted fans, but also to the spirit of the struggle against Apartheid. Through music — a most powerful unifying tool — he took SA to world, and brought the world to SA.”

Masekela was once married to renowned artist Miriam Makeba, who also took the world by storm and won a Grammy Award.

She was also an anti-apartheid opponent and died in Italy in 2008.

Masekela is the father of Sal Masekela, an American television host.