List of Hugh Masekela's albums and best songs: his discography in detail

List of Hugh Masekela's albums and best songs: his discography in detail

Hugh Ramopolo Masekela was a singer and celebrated flugelhorn artist. He made his debut with the horn at 14 and was still blowing strong when he died at age 78 on January 23rd, 2018. Hugh Masekela's albums and best songs have had a profound impact on his fans all over the world.

Hugh Masekela song list
Hugh Masekela attends the Jazz FM Awards at Vinopolis in London, England. Photo: Jo Hale
Source: Getty Images

Hugh Masekela was born in Witbank, South Africa, on April 4th, 1939. Who taught Hugh Masekela for trumpet? He grew up playing the piano, and Father Huddleston introduced him to the trumpet at a tender age. His extensive musical style is infused with Jazz and Mbaqanga. The maestro has collaborated with several legends such as Harry Belafonte, The Byrds, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Miriam Makeba, and Paul Simon.

Hugh Masekela albums and best songs

Hugh churned out over 40 solo albums. He also launched a record, House of Masekela. There is a compilation of traditional South African wedding hymns among Hugh Masekela's songs.

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Several of his songs were composed and recorded in New York, including his Grammy-winning hit Grazing in the Grass.

Hugh Masekela albums

The jazz maestro has a myriad of songs under his belt. Hugh Masekela's albums have been produced and released by various record labels, including MGM. Some of them are via his own production house. Below are some of his famous albums.

Trumpet Africaine

It was recorded in New York City and released in August 1962 while he was still in school. It was released via Mercury Records.

The Americanization of Ooga Booga

The album is a mix of American jazz themes and South African musical inspirations. It was recorded live at The Village Gate nightclub in New York City. It was released through the MGM Records label.

Hugh Masekela's Next Album

It was recorded in New York City and released in December 1966 via MGM Records label.

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The Emancipation of Hugh Masekela

This album was recorded in Los Angeles and released via the Chisa Records label. A compilation of his songs, Tracks Child of the Earth, Felicidade, and Ha Lese Le Di Khanna, were included.

Hugh Masekela's Latest

This album was released in 1967 through the Uni Records label. Some of its notable tracks include Baby, Baby, Baby, Here, and There and Everywhere.

Hugh Masekela is Alive and Well at the Whisky

Hugh Masekela best songs
Hugh Masekela was bestowed with a sixth doctorate by Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa. Masekela was conferred with a doctorate of music. Photo: Gallo Images
Source: Getty Images

It was recorded live at Whisky a Go Go nightclub in Hollywood, California. Some of the hits in the album are Up Up and Away and A White Shade of Pale.

The Promise of a Future

It was recorded in March 1968 in Los Angeles, California. The album was released again on CD in 1993 on the One Way label. The Promise of a Future has Masekela's rendition of the famous instrumental masterpiece, Grazing in the Grass.

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Africa '68

It was probably recorded in New York in 1966 and in Los Angeles around late 1967. The album was intended to expand people's awareness of African music.

The Lasting Impression of Hugh Masekela

The album was released by MGM Records label but was recorded in New York at The Village Gate. In December 1968, it was released as a separate album.


The album was recorded in Los Angeles. In this album, the artist performs several of his compositions. The tracks Mace and Grenades and Gold were included in the album.


It was released via the Chisa Records label. The album was launched on CD in 1994 by MoJazz label. Hugh Masekela included the song I Will by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Hugh Masekela & The Union of South Africa

It was released through the Chisa Records label. The album was re-released on CD in 1994 on the MoJazz label.

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Home Is Where the Music Is (The African Connection)

The album is a 1972 jazz and Afrobeat double LP by Hugh Masekela and issued jointly by the American label Chisa and Blue Thumb Records. It also appears in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz

best Hugh Masekela albums
Hugh Masekela during an interview in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo: Veli Nhlapo
Source: Getty Images

The album was recorded in Nigeria and released in 1973. Track Languta was later included in his renowned album Still Grazing.

I Am Not Afraid

It was recorded in Los Angeles. Tracks like Been such a Long Time Gone and Stimela were also included in the album.

The Boy's Doin' It

It was recorded in Lagos, Nigeria, and released through Casablanca Records. Verve Records released the album again on CD in 1998 with six extra tracks. Some of the songs in the album include Hugh Masekela's Mama, Excuse Me Please, and Ashiko.

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Colonial Man

It was recorded in New York and Chicago and released on LP. Later on, it was released by Casablanca Records as an 8-track cassette. Soon after its release, many viewed it as a concept album and protest album because of the songs Colonial Man, Cecil Rhodes, and Vasco Da Gama. These songs portrayed African anti-colonial views.

Melody Maker

It was recorded in Maryland and Virginia and released in 1976 through Casablanca Records. The tracks Toejam and Hi-Life were launched on CD in 1998 on Verve Records as a part of The Boy's Doin' It album.

You Told Your Mama Not to Worry

The album was recorded in Ghana and released in November by Casablanca Records. It includes the song Soweto Blues, performed by songstress Miriam Makeba. The tracks You Told Your Mama Not to Worry, and Mami Wata were released on CD in 1998 on Verve Records as an extra part of his previous album, The Boy's Doin.

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Herb Alpert/Hugh Masekela

It is a studio album by Herb Alpert and Hugh Masekela that was recorded in Hollywood, California. It was released in 1978 via A&M Records and Horizon Records labels.


The album was released again on CD in 1996 via Columbia Records with a rearranged listing of the tracks.


It is a studio album released by Hugh Masekela in 1984 and was recorded in Botswana.

Waiting for the Rain

Hugh Masekela mama
Hugh Masakela performing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Photo: Clayton Call
Source: Getty Images

The album features a collection of local African stars. Notable ones include Bheki Mseleku and feature a cover of Fela Kuti's classic song Lady. The album is a dedication to Pauline Bowers Masekela, his mother.


It was recorded in New York City and Jersey City and released via the Novus Records label. It is his last album in exile before apartheid ended.

Beatin' Aroun de Bush

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It was recorded in Hollywood and released via the Novus Records label.


Hope is a live album by South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela.

Hugh Masekela's - Stimela

This 1994 compilation album is a jazz trumpeter from South Africa. The album was compiled and produced by Masekela's long-time colleague Stewart Levine.

Notes of Life

The album was recorded in South Africa. It was released via the Columbia label. Sony Music launched Notes of Life on CD in 1999.

Black to the Future

The 1998 studio album by Bra Hugh was recorded in Mafikeng, South Africa.


It was recorded in South Africa and released through the Shanachie label.

Grazing in the Grass (The Best of Hugh Masekela)

The album was released via the Columbia label. It is a reflective collection that includes 14 tracks by Masekela.


Hugh Masekela - send me
Hugh Masekela performs onstage at the The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Kevork Djansezian
Source: Getty Images

The album was recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa, and released by Sony and Columbia record labels. Hugh Masekela's - Send Me song was among the best songs featured in the album.

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The Collection

It was released on October 7th, 2003, through Spectrum Music label.


In this album, his flugelhorn and vocals were matched against the music of the guitar, keyboards, and bass work of Erik Paliani. It alternates between breezy instrumentals, township vocals, and moderately sturdy ballads.

Live at the Market Theater

The album represents his commitment to South African Identity. It consists of 15 tracks recorded in June 2006 at his two-and-a-half-hour concert at the theatre in Jo'burg.

Still Grazing

The album is a retrospective collection of his compositions recorded between 1966 and 1974. It is the soundtrack to Masekela's recent autobiography, which bears the same name.

Almost Like Being in Jazz

The album was released on June 7th, 2005, via the Chisa Records label. The collection is composed of 12 jazz standards.

The Chisa Years: 1965–1975 (Rare and Unreleased)

The collection consists of more than ten exceptional or forgotten numbers recorded by Hugh Masekela and Stewart Levine between 1965 and 1975 when they managed their own Chisa Records label.

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The record was released through Listen 2 label in the USA and the Gallo Record Company label based in South Africa. Jabulani translates as to be happy or to bring joy and happiness. The album is a collection of traditional South African wedding songs recorded in Pretoria, South Africa.


The album was recorded in Pretoria and premiered in Cape Town at the Mahogany Room in April 2012.

Playing at Work

Hugh Masekela - stimela
Trumpeter and singer Hugh Masekela performs at the 35th Anniversary Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California. Photo: Rodrigo Vaz
Source: Getty Images

Recorded in Pretoria and launched in 2012, with a reworked version in 2013. The album is evidence that the maestro always had an element of surprise in most of his releases.

No Borders

It is Masekela's last studio album, and Universal Music released it. It was his first album after five years.

Hugh Masekela's songs list

With so many albums that Hugh released, it is difficult to pick out the best songs since most were chart-topping hits. However, some of Hugh Masekela's best songs include the following:

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  • Stimela
  • Grazing in the Grass
  • Khawuleza
  • Chileshe
  • Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)
  • Ha Le Se Le Li Khanna
  • Don't Go Lose It Baby
  • Up-Up and Away
  • Grazing in the Grass
  • Puffin' On Down the Track
  • Riot

Best Hugh Masekela's albums

Below is a table of all his albums and the year they were released.

1962Trumpet Africaine
1966The Americanization of Ooga Booga
1966Hugh Masekela's Next Album
1966The Emancipation of Hugh Masekela
1967Hugh Masekela's Latest
1967Hugh Masekela Is Alive and Well at the Whisky
1968The Promise of a Future
1968Africa '68
1968The Lasting Impression of Hugh Masekela
1971Hugh Masekela & The Union of South Africa
1972Home Is Where the Music Is (aka The African Connection)
1973Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz
1974I Am Not Afraid
1975The Boy's Doin' It
1976Colonial Man
1976Melody Maker
1977You Told Your Mama Not to Worry
1978Herb Alpert / Hugh Masekela
1978Main Event Live (with Herb Alpert)
1985Waiting for the Rain
1992Beatin' Aroun de Bush

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Below is a table of all his albums and the year they were released.

1996Notes of Life
1998Black to the Future
1999The Best of Hugh Masekela on Novus
2001Grazing in the Grass: The Best of Hugh Masekela
2002Live at the BBC
2003The Collection
2004Still Grazing
2005Almost Like Being in Jazz
2006The Chisa Years: 1965–1975 (Rare and Unreleased)
2007Live at the Market Theatre
2011Friends (Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis)
2012Playing @ Work
2016No Borders
2020Rejoice (Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela)

Who is Hugh Masekela?

He was famously known as the father of South African jazz. He was a trumpeter, flugelhorn player, cornetist, singer, and composer best known for songs like Soweto Blues and Bring Him Back Home.

How old is Hugh Masekela?

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  • The South African artist was born on April 4, 1939. He was 78 years old at the time of his death.

Where does Hugh Masekela come from?

He was born in the Witbank township of KwaGuqa, now known as Emalahleni, South Africa. His parents were health inspector Thomas Selena Masekela and social worker Pauline Bowers Masekela.

How many albums does Hugh Masekela have?

At the time of his death, he had released over 40 albums. Some include The Promise of a Future, Trumpet Africaine, and Almost Like Being in Jazz.

Why was Hugh Masekela exiled from South Africa?

Following the political unrest surrounding the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, Masekela went into exile in 1961. He had done much to bring attention to the oppressive regime that kept him out of the country for decades.

How did Hugh Masekela influence the country?

The musician used his public platform to condemn apartheid and substance abuse. His music has inspired many people, and he is still recognized for his talent.

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Hugh Masekela was such a determined and hard-working artist. He made extensive global tours as he produced more albums and songs. South Africa and the music world still consider Hugh Masekela's albums and best songs as some of the best music ever.

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Amapiano sounds, a house music subgenre that emerged around 2013, can be heard in the majority of top South African songs. These tracks' artists have distinct and lively vocals that keep listeners hooked.

Source: Briefly News

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