The late jazz maestro Hugh Masekela will be celebrated in an “exclusive four-performance season” to be staged at the Joburg Theatre between May 3 and 6 in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Acclaimed directors Mbongeni Ngema, James Ngcobo and Makhaola Ndebele will provide musical and stage direction, while award-winning musicians Thandiswa Mazwai and Sibongile Khumalo will belt out his songs.
Delivered in collaboration with the Hugh Masekela Foundation and aimed at ushering Africa Month celebration in the City of Johannesburg, the performance season will be an affirmation of Masekela’s “affection and contribution to the musical theatre in South Africa”, according to MMC for community development Nonhlanhla Sifumba.
Describing him as a “headstrong artist” who “stood tall in the dark days of apartheid”, Sifumba emphasised that less is known “about his affection and contribution to musical theatre in South Africa”.
Masekela pioneered the internationally acclaimed ‘King Kong’, which was Africa’s jazz opera.
“A celebration of this kind is long overdue, and I wish that Bra Hugh was still alive to witness his talent being celebrated in this manner,” said Sifumba.
The music will be drawn from stage performances such as a ‘Sarafina’, ‘Songs of Migration’, ‘Gone Native: The Life and Times of Regina Brooks’ as well as some of Masekela’s well-known theatrical songs and compositions such as the famed ‘Stimela’ with Masekela Touring Band providing backup vocals.