Top 40 radio played the instrumental “Grazing in the Grass” to death in 1968. Many adventurous music fans got to see South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela the year before right here. Masekela and his band were featured performers at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. He also provided the trumpet solo for The Byrds’ “So You Want To Be A Rock & Roll Star”. Fast forward to an incredibly diverse career – helping to free Nelson Mandela, joining Paul Simon on the breakthrough world music of “Graceland”, working on the Broadway musical “Sarafina”, writing his biography – and you begin to see what a treasure Hugh Masekela has been to the world of music and South African culture. Join his 75th Birthday Celebration at the intimate Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz Monday, March 24th. Showtimes are 7 and 9 pm; best get tickets in advance for this birthday party.
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