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Honours for Hugh Masekela at LIJF on International Jazz Day


Plans are in full gear for the hosting of the 10th anniversary of Nigeria’s premier Jazz Festival, The Lagos International Jazz Festival (LIJF) scheduled to hold on Monday, April 30, which is globally recognised as International Jazz Day.

The one-day multi-stage event will take place at the arts and cultural hotspot, Freedom Park, Lagos and is dedicated in memory of the late music icon and father of South African Jazz, Hugh Ramapolo Masekela, who passed few months ago.

LIJF founder and festival director, Ayoola Sadare in a statement issued said, “It’s with great pleasure that on our 10th anniversary we are able to honor the memory of the late legendary international icon, cultural statesman and father of South African Jazz, Hugh Maleeka on the LIJF platform though post mortem.


“Bra Hugh was an inspiration to the Jazz community locally and globally, though he never performed on the LIJF stage we believe we owe him a duty to be celebrated for his long and positively impactful life through his music. Hugh Masekela’s spirit lives on through his music which will be with us for a long time,” he added.

The maiden edition of the Lagos International Jazz Festival (LIJF) took place in 2008 at Studio 868 in Victoria Island, and it was headlined by South Africa’s award winning Freshly Ground and UK’s Courtney Pine.

The annual LIJF organised by Inspiro Productions is part of the Lagos Tourism Arts and Culture calendar, and the Lagos State Government through the Lagos Tourism amongst others supports it.

Meanwhile, at this year’s Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF), tribute was paid to Masekela, who during his lifetime was long-time friend of the festival.

Tagged, ‘The Boy’s Doin’ It — A Celebration of Hugh Masekela’s Life & Music, the festival highlighted the genius of Bra Masekela as an influential trumpeter, flugelhorn-player, singer and composer. Four new, exciting acts headlined the festival, which was the 19th edition.

According to CTIJF Festival Director, Billy Domingo, “this year’s festival celebrates Masekela long history with the CTIJF, from performing at the very first festival in 2000, to his many on-stage appearances over the years.”

“Whether he was breathing life into poignant heritage jazz or collaborating with hip young stars, this legend created timeless music, which resonated with young and old. This tribute will revisit the work of this remarkable showman, showcasing his succinct lyricism. The Masekela family endorses it,” he added.

On the 2018 line up were emerging global artistes, Tank and the Bangas, and Masego, both from the US, with South Africa’s own Black Motion, all offering a mixture of fresh and influential sounds and incredible live performances.

“The 2018 offering encompasses the full scale of the jazz genre,” Domingo said, adding that “The line-up showcases diverse cultures and musical styles to reveal the complexity of the music, to inspire, uplift and energise. It also presents the opportunity to indulge in a moment of quiet reflection.

“It was an exciting programme with something for everyone, from loyal festinos and new visitors to the festival.
This year it was only natural that we pay tribute to the great Bra Hugh, and I am especially proud of the celebration the Masekela family put together to honour his incredible legacy,” he stated.

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