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Bra Hugh set to take Arts Alive fest to dizzy heights


World-renowned jazz legend Hugh Masekela is expected to blow a storm at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein on Friday September 23 as part of the City of Johannesburg’s Arts Alive International Festival, which reaches its climax this weekend.
The well-travelled Masekela, who has been in music for more than five decades, is expected to dish out popular tunes such as “Stimela”, “Market Place”, “Nomali”, “Grazing in The Grass”, “Thanayi”, “Ha le se le di khanna” and “Bring Him Home” in what promises to be a lively and entertaining evening for the entire family.
Bra Hugh, as he is affectionately known among his legion of fans, entered the world of jazz music after he was given a trumpet by world-renowned anti-apartheid activist Father Trevor Huddleston in Sophiatown in the 1950s.  In 1960, at the age of 21, Bra Hugh went into exile in New York, where he enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music.
This coincided with the golden years of jazz music and the young Masekela immersed himself in the New York jazz scene, where he watched greats such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charlie Mingus playing almost every night.
Under the tutelage of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, Masekela was encouraged to develop his own unique style. He went on to release more than 40 albums and has worked with diverse international artists such as Gillespie, Harry Belafonte, The Byrds, Fela Kuti, Marvin Gaye, Herb Alpert, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and the late Miriam Makeba.
In 1990, Masekela returned home after the unbanning of the African National Congress and Pan Africanist Congress and the release of Nelson Mandela.
In 2004, he published an autobiography “Still Grazing: Three Decades Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela”.
Supporting Bra Hugh will be Jamaican reggae dance sensation Queen Ifrica. They will be joined by enthusiastic youth Afro-jazz band Encore.
For rock, blues and neo-folk sound lovers, Arts Alive has included Dan Patlansky, an internationally successful South African artist who has been voted as the fourth-best rock guitarist in the world, in its exciting Saturday September 24 line-up.
Patlansky will be joined on stage by Dave Ferguson, acclaimed guitarist Mauritz Lotz and Namibian sensation Andra in a one-time rock, blues and folk expression. This tantalising bill will also see the exquisite duo of Laurie Levine & Josie Field strumming and harmonising their greatest hits.
Patlansky was voted Male Artist of the Year 2015 by Blues & Soul magazine of 10 best guitarists in the world as well as one of the top 20 blues rock artists by Blues magazine. In February 2016, Patlansky received a nomination for the British Blues Awards' Best Overseas Artist category.
Nakhane Toure, South African Music Awards winner for the Best Alternative Album, rounds off this exciting night of delightful music.
Tickets cost R150 at Computicket.