Bra Hugh to be Remembered in Memorial Concert | Songlines
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bra Hugh to be Remembered in Memorial Concert

By Alex de Lacey

Hugh Masekela's life and work is to be honoured this weekend with a special performance at the Barbican, as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival.

SibongileKhumalo©Moeletsi Mabe-Free.jpg

Sibongile Khumalo © Moeletsi Mabe

It’s been nearly a year since the passing of South Africa’s most influential musician. Hugh Masekela was a titan, and his role in the struggle against apartheid offered so much in a time of great crisis. His life and work is to be honoured this weekend with a special performance at the Barbican, as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival.

The show will feature Masekela’s full band, South African vocal ensemble Complete and two legends of African music: Zimbabwe’s Oliver Mtukudzi and Sibongile Khumalo, who met Masekela early on in her career upon his return from exile. “I was so fascinated by his storytelling. I relished spending time with him, breaking bread together and listening to his reflections, especially on tour”, says Khumalo.

Following its premiere in Johannesburg last weekend, which Khumalo has spoken of as a chance to “seek affirmation and blessings from Bra Hugh’s support base”, the entire ensemble will fly to the UK for this special date in London. Khumalo has offered an insight into what to expect from the show: “While there will be many popular pieces from Masekela’s songbook, there are also other beautiful songs that are not heard as often”.

Masekela and Khumalo worked closely throughout out her career, so it seems fitting that this celebration will feature her vocal talents alongside Mtukudzi: a truly special commemoration.

The concert will take place at the Barbican Theatre on Sunday. Tickets available now. 

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