Hugh Masekela & Vusi Mahlasela

Hugh Masekela & Vusi Mahlasela

Sun, March 1, 2015

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$55.00

This event is all ages

Hugh Masekela
Hugh Masekela
Legendary South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela is an innovator in the world music and jazz scene and continues to tour the world as a performer, composer, producer and activist. This iconic artist is best known for his Grammy-nominated hit single, Grazing in the Grass which sold over 4 million copies in 1968 and made him an international star. He later played an integral role in Paul Simon's tour behind the classic album Graceland, which was one of the first pop records to introduce African music to a broader public.

Masekela has collaborated with numerous artists in the USA, Africa and Europe including Miriam Makeba, Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Belafonte, Herb Alpert, Fela Kuti (in Nigeria) and Franco (in the Congo). Renowned choreographer Alvin Ailey chose a piece by Masekela to create a work for his world famous Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Masekela also co-created the Broadway smash musical Sarafina that introduced the sounds and passion of South African music to theater audiences worldwide.

Twenty five years after Hugh Masekela first collaborated with Paul Simon and now legendary SA musicians like Miriam Makeba and Ladysmith Black Mambazo on the Graceland album and subsequent tour – the two icons reunited on a Hyde Park Stage on 15 July 2012. The anniversary celebration included the original Graceland band, led by guitarist Ray Phiri as well as Ladysmith Black Mambazo and reggae star, Jimmy Cliff.

Articulate and brilliantly musical in any number of genres, Hugh Masekela has been a defining force in world music, the preservation of South Africa's musical heritage, the safety and well-being of it's poorest citizens as well as the struggle for freedom and human rights both in Africa, and around the world.
Vusi Mahlasela
Vusi Mahlasela
Vusi Mahlasela, is simply known as "The Voice" in his home-country, South Africa, celebrated for his distinct, powerful voice and his poetic, optimistic lyrics. His songs of hope connect Apartheid-scarred South Africa with its promise for a better future. Raised in the Mamelodi Township, where he still resides, Vusi became a singer-songwriter and poet-activist at an early age teaching himself how to play guitar and later joining the Congress of South African Writers. After his popular debut on BMG Africa, When You Come Back, Vusi was asked to perform at Mandela's inauguration in 1994 and continues to spread Mandela's message as an official ambassador to Mandela's HIV/AIDS initiative, 46664.

After world-wide touring and international acclaim, Americans first caught a glimpse of Vusi in the lauded documentary film Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony, and the accompanying soundtrack. After the release of the film, long-time admirer and fellow South African, Dave Matthews, signed Vusi to his own ATO Records label and released The Voice (2003)¸ a collection of the best songs from Vusi's catalog. In 2007, ATO released his latest album, Guiding Star, his first full-length release in the States. ATO Records will release the highly anticipated follow-up record to Guiding Star on January 18, 2011. The new album, Say Africa, produced by Taj Mahal and recorded at Dave Matthews' studio in Charlottesville, VA, captures Vusi's hope for the future of Africa: "Let all those who share in Mandela's greatest wish—to one day see an Africa that is at peace with herself—SAY AFRICA."

After recording the album in the States this spring, Vusi returned to his home in South Africa and was honored to help ring in the World Cup at FIFA's Kick Off Concert at Orlando Stadium. The concert was broadcast internationally to an estimated one billion viewers. Following his performance, Vusi proudly introduced fellow South African, Archbishop Desmond Tutu on stage. Vusi's anthemic song "When You Come Back" was ITV's official theme song for the World Cup in the UK. Other recent highlights include performing at Mandela Day to honor Mandela's birthday, touring with Bela Fleck behind the release of his Grammy-winning album "Throw Down Your Heart," which features a live track from Vusi and Bela, two appearances at the TED conference and performing with Paul Simon.

In the midst of a busy international touring schedule, Vusi remains dedicated to his social activism and partnerships with non-profits, including his own Vusi Mahlasela Music Development Foundation, committed to the promotion of and preservation of African music. Other organizations that Vusi actively supports are OXFAM, The Acumen Fund, The African Leadership Academy and the ONE campaign.

Over a musically and socially consequential career, South African singer-songwriter and poet-activist Vusi Mahlasela has successfully followed his muse and continued to give back to his country. As he puts it, he knows that "musicians have to be like watchdogs, just by seeing and speaking out, directly to the youth as well, because we need some kind of Cultural Revolution to remove ignorance."
Venue Information:
London Music Hall - CA
185 Queens Ave.
London, ON, N6A 1J1
http://www.londonmusichall.com/

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