When a successful or very influential figure dies, they are sometimes eulogised as having left back shoes that are too big to fill. And such was the case with Bra Hugh Masekela. Did you know that Masekela was South Africa’s most celebrated composer, flugelhornist, trumpeter, and singer? Yes he was, and by the time he died, South Africa’s jazz music fans widely regarded him as “the father of South African jazz”. The legendary jazz artist left back over numerous albums that will go a long way to keep his spirit alive and perpetuate his music legacy. Please read on to get the full list of Hugh Masekela albums and best songs.
Hugh Ramopolo Masekela is a singer and celebrated flugelhorn artist. He was also a rebellious political activist with a deep connection to South Africa. He made his debut with the horn at 14 and was still blowing strong when he died at an age of 78 on January 23rd, 2018. Hugh Masekela albums have had a profound impact on his fans all over the world.
He was born in Witbank, South Africa on the 4th of April, 1939. Masekela grew up playing the piano and at a tender age, Father Huddleston introduced him to the trumpet. 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 churned out over 40 solo albums. He also launched a record; House of Masekela, under which he released the album, and Playing at Work. Among Hugh Masekela songs, there is a compilation of traditional South African wedding hymns.
Several Hugh Masekela songs were composed and recorded in New York including his Grammy-winning hit Grazing in the Grass. These hits can be found through Hugh Masekela albums mp3 download.
According to Hugh Masekela biography, he was once married to Miriam Makeba.
Hugh Masekela albums
The jazz maestro has a myriad of songs under his belt. Hugh Masekela albums have been produced and released by various record labels including MGM. Some of them are via his own production house. Several websites have his albums reviewed. However, you can get Hugh Masekela albums free download here.
It was recorded in New York city and released in August 1962 while Masekela was still in school.
It was recorded in New York City and released in 1966 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. The album was released through MGM Records label.
Hugh Masekela's Next Album
It was recorded in New York City and released in December 1966 via MGM Records label.
The Emancipation of Hugh Masekela
This is Masekela's 5th studio album. It was recorded in Los Angeles and released via Chisa Records label, and it is a compilation of his own songs. Tracks Child of the Earth, Felicidade, and Ha Lese Le Di Khanna were also included in the album Still Grazing that was released in 2004.
Hugh Masekela's Latest
The sixth studio album was released in 1967 via Uni Records label. Some of its notable tracks include Baby, Baby, Baby, with Aretha Franklin and Here, There and Everywhere, with John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Hugh Masekela is Alive and Well at the Whisky
It was recorded live at the nightclub "Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, California. The song Up Up and Away was eventually included in the album Still Grazing.
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 One Way label. The Promise of a Future has Masekela's rendition of the famous instrumental masterpiece, Grazing in the Grass.
It was probably recorded in New York in 1966 and Los Angeles around late 1967. The album was intended to expand the 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, Masekela performs several of his own compositions. The tracks Mace and Grenades and Gold were later included in his 2004 album Still Grazing.
It was released via 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 and the union of South Africa
It was released through Chisa Records label. The album was re-released on CD in 1994 on MoJazz label.
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 American label Chisa and Blue Thumb Records. It also appears in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz
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 Still Grazing.
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.
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, it was viewed by many 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.
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'.
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
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 Novus Records label. It is his last album in exile before apartheid ended.
Beatin' Aroun de Bush
It was recorded in Hollywood and released via Novus Records label.
Hope is a live album by South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela.
The collection 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 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 Shanachie label.
Grazing in the Grass (The Best of Hugh Masekela)
The album was released via Columbia label. It is a reflective collection that includes 14 tracks by Masekela.
The album was recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa and released by Sony and Columbia record labels.
It was released on October 7th, 2003 through Spectrum Music label.
In this album, his flugelhorn and vocals were matched against the music 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 theater in Jo’burg.
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 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 10 exceptional or forgotten numbers recorded by Hugh Masekela and Stewart Levine between 1965 and 1975 when they managed their own Chisa Records label.
The record was released through Listen 2 label in the USA and Gallo Record Company label that is based in South Africa. Jabulani translates as to be happy, or to bring joy and happiness. Recorded in Pretoria, South Africa, the album is a collection of revamped traditional South African wedding songs.
The album was recorded in Pretoria and premiered in Cape Town at the Mahogany Room in April 2012.
Playing at Work
Recorded in Pretoria and launched in 2012 with a reworked version in 2013. the album is an evidence that the maestro always had an element of surprise in most of his releases.
It is Masekela’s last studio album, and it was released by Universal Music. It was his first album after a span of 5 years.
Hugh Masekela best songs
With so many albums that Bra Hugh released, it is not easy to pick out the best songs since most of them were chart-topping hits. However, some of his best releases include songs like:
- Grazing in the Grass
- Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)
- Ha Le Se Le Li Khanna
- Don't Go Lose It Baby
Hugh has a daughter, Pula Twala. Not much is known about Hugh Masekela's daughter since she would rather stay away from the limelight. Sal, his son, is a singer, journalist, film producer, screenwriter, voice acting, television presenter, and sports commentator.
Clearly, Hugh Masekela was a famous South African musician, singer, and composer. With all those achievements and accolades, he amassed immense wealth. Hugh Masekela net worth makes him one of the highest paid musicians in Africa and it was estimated at $275 million at the time of his death.
Bra was such a determined and hard-working artist. He made extensive global tours as he produced more Hugh Masekela albums. South Africa and the music world at large still consider him as one of the best jazz artists ever. What an icon, what a legend!