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South African Jazz Legend Hugh Masekela, Dies At 78

Hugh Masekela, a legendary jazz trumpeter, a leading figure in the struggle to end apartheid, and "the father of South African jazz", has died at  age 78.

Born in  South Africa, in the town of Witbank in 1939, Masekela was moved to learn how to play the trumpet after he saw Kirk Douglas play Bix Beiderbecke in 1950, in a film titled Young Man with a Horn.

He urged one of his teachers - the anti-apartheid crusader Father Trevor Huddleston - to buy him an instrument, and in return, promised to stay out of trouble.
Hugh masekela

He was recognized globally because of his distinctive Afro-Jazz sound and hits such as Soweto Blues.  The 1977 song became closely connected with the anti-apartheid movement.

His family stated that he had "passed away peacefully" in Johannesburg "after a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer".

Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, the world-acclaimed musician - also known as Bra Hugh - spent the last months of his life urging men to go for regular check-ups for cancer.