expand Hugh Masekela
Eric Burdon described Hugh Masekela's music as "black as night". It was more than that :  Growing up in South Africa, watching the 1950 Kirk Douglas film Young Man With A Horn inspired him to immediately take up the trumpet, and in 1959, he and a group of like-minded musicians formed The Jazz Epistles, the first South African Jazz group to record and play to record-breaking audiences.
In 1960, he left his homeland for the United States in the aftermath of a massacre that claimed the lives of 69 peaceful protesters as the apartheid state became increasingly more brutal.  He formed his own band in 1964, and in 1968, had a #1 hit with "Grazing In The Grass". He guest played trumpet on The Byrds' "So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star", and in the '80s worked with Paul Simon.  Since he started playing professionally in 1954, his music has been a reflection of his life experiences:  the agony, conflict, struggles, and sorrows of apartheid, exploitation, slavery, and individual hardships, but also the joys and passions of South Africa's people, and age has not slackened him one bit.
James Nolan