Together, Hugh Masekela and Oliver Mtukudzi defy all hyperbole

2014-09-22 08:00

There is a place that Hugh Masekela disappears to when he blows that trumpet of his.

Judging by the contentment on his face and the joyful sound that emanates from the trumpet, that place must be that evergreen location where we will all end up if we are well behaved.

Then there is the impish, naughty look on his face when he gets the audience onto its feet with his more groovy tunes. He was like that last week when he celebrated his 75th birthday at the Soweto Theatre.

Sharing the stage with Zimbabwean maestro Oliver Mtukudzi, he was vintageMasekela.

The previous night, Mtukudzi delivered the inaugural Hugh Masekela Annual Lecture, where he said one of Masekela’s great gifts was to “sing to a bigger and universal heartbeat of life”.

The two of them did just that, playing duets of their greatest works. To Masekela’s Thanayi, Mtukudzi added his incredible guitar chords. To Mtukudzi’s romantic Neria, Masekela brought a sweetly melancholic trumpet sound.

The harmonisation of the two legends’ voices on each other’s classics defied all hyperbole. And as ever, their indefatigable youth put even the youngest members of the audience to shame as they tried to keep up with the dance moves of these legends.

Make a promise to yourself not to die before seeing these two icons together.

» Hugh Masekela’s next gig will be at The Lyric at Gold Reef City on September 26. Tickets R150 to R335 at

» Oliver Mtukudzi will be playing at the Rose Garden in Bloemfontein on October 11. Tickets R320 from

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