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Masekela demonstrated a knack for writing jazz-infused pop songs, scoring hits with “The Boy’s Doin’ It” (1975), a funky dance number, and the disco single “Don’t Go Lose It Baby” (1984). But his music never strayed far from politics. In concerts, Masekela discussed the meaning of songs such as “Stimela (Coal Train),” about displaced workers in Johannesburg, and “Soweto Blues,” about a 1976 massacre of black schoolchildren, which he often performed with Makeba.

“I’m a parasite on the world’s conscience, to make them scratch sometimes,” he told Britain’s Guardian newspaper in 1990, In the early 1980s, he moved to Botswana to start a mobile recording studio and school for African musicians, The school, near the border of South Africa, shuttered in 1985 after defense forces from the apartheid regime conducted a raid in the area, killing 15 people, With South African playwright Mbongeni Ngema, he composed and arranged the music for “Sarafina!,” which opened in New York in 1987 – transforming “the oppression of black townships,” New York Times theater critic Frank Rich wrote in a review, red russian pointe shoes “into liberating singing and dancing that nearly raises the theater’s roof.” The show received five Tony Award nominations, including for best musical and best original score, and was adapted into a 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and Makeba..

Masekela was by then in the midst of a late-career resurgence, buoyed by a collaboration with Paul Simon. Simon had recorded parts of the 1986 album “Graceland” in South Africa with local musicians, breaking a United Nations boycott and infuriating anti-apartheid groups who argued that he was implicitly condoning the white-only government. Masekela, however, saw the album as an opportunity to broaden the appeal of South African music. He organized a group of South African musicians who performed in stadiums worldwide during Simon’s “Graceland” tour. With Makeba, guitarist Ray Phiri and the choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, he played hits such as “You Can Call Me Al” alongside protest anthems and the Pan-African liberation song “God Bless Africa.”.

“South Africa has become a spectator sport,” Masekela told the Los Angeles Daily News in 1987, dismissing “Graceland” critics who argued that South African musicians shouldn’t show support for Simon by playing with him on tour, “If these people are prevented from playing with us overseas,” he continued, “and they are prevented from playing over there in South Africa because of the color of their skin, red russian pointe shoes then I don’t know what the people who want to help us are aiming at, It is as if they are saying, ‘We must deprive you in order to help you.’ ”..

Ramopolo Hugh Masekela was born in the coal-mining town of Witbank on April 4, 1939. The son of a health-inspector father and social-worker mother, Hugh (as he became known) was raised mainly by his grandmother, who ran an illegal drinking house known as a shebeen. Alcohol sales were prohibited for black South Africans, and “drunkenness to a great extent was a form of defiance,” Masekela told NPR in 2013. He acknowledged addictions to “drinkin’, cokin’, smokin’ – you name it, all the ‘kins,” before seeking treatment in the 1990s. Drug use, he said, led him to squander $50 million over the course of his career.

He had shown promise on piano in childhood but became entranced red russian pointe shoes with the trumpet after seeing “Young Man With a Horn” (1950), a Kirk Douglas film about a troubled jazz musician, At the time, he was attending St, Peter’s, an Anglican prep school in the suburbs of Johannesburg, where his musical precociousness was matched only by his reputation for unruliness, “If I can get a trumpet,” he promised his chaplain, “I won’t bother anybody.”, His chaplain, the anti-apartheid activist Trevor Huddleston, granted his wish, and Huddleston soon found enough interest among other students to start a band..

Within a few years, Masekela became a founding member of the Jazz Epistles, a pathbreaking black jazz group in South Africa. The 1960 Sharpeville massacre, in which scores of anti-apartheid demonstrators were mowed down by police gunfire, squashed Masekela’s dream of touring with the group. With the support of entertainers including Harry Belafonte, Masekela moved to New York, studied at the Manhattan School of Music and released his first record, “Trumpet Africaine,” in 1963. He married Makeba the following year. “It was difficult, because I was a little bit more popular; men always like to know they’re in control,” she later told the Guardian, recalling the lead-up to their divorce in 1966. “We just decided, like he likes to say, ‘Let’s call it a draw.’ ” The couple continued performing together until her death in 2008.

Masekela’s marriages to singer Chris Calloway, daughter of American bandleader Cab Calloway, and to Jabu Mbatha also ended in divorce, In 1999, he married Ghanaian-born Elinam Cofie, A younger red russian pointe shoes sister, Barbara Masekela, served as Mandela’s chief of staff after he was released from prison and later as South Africa’s ambassador to the United States, A son from a relationship, Selema “Sal” Masekela, works as a musician and journalist, A complete list of survivors was not immediately available..

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