Hugh Masekela performs at the 2013 GRAMMYs
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
MusiCares & ELMA Honor Hugh Masekela With Matching Fund
In celebration of Hugh Masekela's musical legacy, The ELMA Music Foundation has partnered with MusiCares to seed a $2M matching gift to MusiCares' COVID-19 Relief Fund. With this partnership, MusiCares hopes to extend support to musicians in need as the effects of COVID-19 continue to hurt musicians around the country.
MusiCares, provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' COVID Relief efforts are ongoing at a pace three times the normal annual aid output. The ELMA Music Foundation invests in organizations using music to improve the lives of young people in South Africa and the United States, as well as organizations supporting members of the music community who have fallen on hard times. The support from The ELMA Music Foundation is needed more than ever and will help thousands in the music community in the United States suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Born in the coal-mining town of Witbank, South Africa on April 4th, 1939, Hugh Masekela was a world-renowned flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, singer, and political activist fondly known as "Bra Hugh." Masekela's prolific career spanned over five decades, spawning over 40 album releases and producing collaborative relationships with artists including The Byrds, Paul Simon, Randy Crawford, Miriam Makeba, Herb Alpert, Dave Grusin, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Ivan Lins, Simply Red and Harry Belafonte.
A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Masekela was honored in 2010 with the highest order in South Africa: The Order of Ikhamanga , granted by the President of South Africa for achievements in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism, and sports. A recipient of multiple honorary doctorates from various universities including the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as many lifetime achievement awards, including at the WOMEX World Music Expo in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2017, his last album, No Borders, picked up a South African Music Award (SAMA) in the Best Adult Contemporary category.
Masekela's musical achievements are remarkable, motivated, largely, by his roots – his connection to his home continent of Africa has always been the driving force of his career and an insatiable appetite for music. "My biggest obsession is to show Africans and the world who the people of Africa really are," he stated, after founding the Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation in 2015. The foundation's mission is "to unearth, preserve and promote Africa's heritage and culture through arts and education and to restore Africa's identity and share it with the world."