Hugh Rampolo Masekela, 4 April 1939, Witbank, Johannesburg, South Africa. South Africas leading émigré trumpeter and band leader was born into a musical family, which boasted one of the largest jazz record collections in the city. One of Masekelas earliest memories is of winding up the household gramophone for his parents; by the age of 10, he was familiar with most of the 78s issued by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Cab Calloway and Glenn Miller. Other early influences were the traditional musics of the Swazis, Zulus, Sutus and Shangaan, all of which he heard at weekend musical gatherings in the township and neighbouring countryside. A difficult and rebellious schoolboy, Masekela was frequently given to playing truant. On one such occasion, he saw Kirk Douglas in the Bix Beiderbecke biopic Young Man With A Horn - and decided there and then that he wanted to become a trumpeter and band leader when he grew up. His teacher, the...
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