Hugh Masakela, S. African Flugelhorn Legend

English: Hugh Masekela, a South African trumpe...

Somehow, growing up on a large island in a small town in Alaska, I acquired an album by South African flugelhorn artist, Hugh Masakela. Back then, in the 70s, I was into Chuck Mangione, especially his Live at the Hollywood Bowl double-album, a fun album that introduced me to Dizzy Gillespie, Jeff Tyzik (playing lead trumpet), and jazz piano wizard Chick Corea, who, if I remember correctly, played 4th trumpet in the big band on a few tunes. I know, crazy, right? Who knew?

Anyway, since Hugh Masakela also plays flugelhorn, I must have ordered an album to check him out. It was a happy accident, because Masakela is a superb musician and through him I was exposed to all kinds of his own African musical influences, like highlife, and cool rhythmic clave patterns, all of it music that certainly wasn’t available in Alaska. Red Bull Music Academy has sponsored a bunch of  lectures with musicians, including the Hugh Masakela Lecture. Here’s his discography, and you can listen to samples.

Want to learn more about the best ways to practice? Get an e-mail with a discount code when The Practice of Practice by Jonathan Harnum is published (June, 2014). To learn more about the book, check out a sample from The Practice of Practice.

Here’s a video of Masakela at WOMAD, in 2012:

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