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Hugh Masekela, The Mahotella Queens

Lucy Duran presents a concert given at the 2010 London Jazz Festival by some of South Africa's biggest stars - trumpeter Hugh Masekela and vintage vocal group the Mahotella Queens.

A London Jazz Festival concert featuring some of South Africa's biggest stars. Hugh Masekela has been a master of South African jazz since the 1960s, becoming an international celebrity with his hit 'Grazin' in the Grass'. The Mahotella Queens are of a similar vintage, and can still excite audiences with their high-energy township dance music.

This concert was recorded on the opening night of the 2010 London Jazz Festival. Hugh Masekela learned the trumpet at the age of 14, and by the end of the 1950s was recognised as a top player. In 1960 following the Sharpeville massacre, he left South Africa and settled for a while in the USA. After his 1987 song 'Bring him back home' came true with the release of Nelson Mandela, he returned to South Africa. Now 71, he is still recording and still touring the world.

The Mahotella Queens are young in comparison, forming in 1964. They had a string of hits with the 'King of the groaners' Simon Mahlatini Nkabinde, combining the energy of township 'mbaqanga' music with tight vocal harmonies. The current band members - Hilda, Nobesuthu and Midred - were all in the original 1964 line-up.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Concert Recording from the London Jazz Festival

    • Mahotella Queens

      Town Hall

      Performers: Nobesuthu Mbadu (vocals), Hilda Tloubatla (vocals), Mildred Mangxola (vocals)

      • BBC Recording by Sound Engineer James Birtwistle, November 2010.
    • Mahotella Queens

      Jive Motella

      Performers: Nobesuthu Mbadu (vocals), Hilda Tloubatla (vocals), Mildred Mangxola (vocals)

      • BBC Recording by Sound Engineer James Birtwistle, November 2010.
    • Mahotella Queens

      Ngeke Ngye Kazulu

      Performers: Nobesuthu Mbadu (vocals), Hilda Tloubatla (vocals), Mildred Mangxola (vocals)

      • BBC Recording by Sound Engineer James Birtwistle, November 2010.
    • Hugh Masekela

      Chileshe

      Performers: Hugh Masekela (flugelhorn); Cameron Ward (guitar), Sibongiseni Zulu (bass), Randal Skippers (keyboards), Lee-Roy Sauls (drums), Francis Fuster (percussion)

      • BBC Recording by Sound Engineer James Birtwistle, November 2010.
    • Hugh Masekela

      Happy Mama

      Performers: Hugh Masekela (flugelhorn); Cameron Ward (guitar), Sibongiseni Zulu (bass), Randal Skippers (keyboards), Lee-Roy Sauls (drums), Francis Fuster (percussion)

      • BBC Recording by Sound Engineer James Birtwistle, November 2010.
    • Hugh Masekela

      Stimela

      Performers: Hugh Masekela (flugelhorn); Cameron Ward (guitar), Sibongiseni Zulu (bass), Randal Skippers (keyboards), Lee-Roy Sauls (drums), Francis Fuster (percussion)

      • BBC Recording by Sound Engineer James Birtwistle, November 2010.
    • Hugh Masekela

      Khauleza

      Performers: Hugh Masekela (flugelhorn); Cameron Ward (guitar), Sibongiseni Zulu (bass), Randal Skippers (keyboards), Lee-Roy Sauls (drums), Francis Fuster (percussion)

      • BBC Recording by Sound Engineer James Birtwistle, November 2010.
    • Hugh Masekela

      Grazin in the Grass

      Performers: Hugh Masekela (flugelhorn); Cameron Ward (guitar), Sibongiseni Zulu (bass), Randal Skippers (keyboards), Lee-Roy Sauls (drums), Francis Fuster (percussion)

      • BBC Recording by Sound Engineer James Birtwistle, November 2010.

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