Two of South Africa’s true freedom fighters and renowned musical icons come together to honor twenty years since the start of democracy in South Africa, and the official end of Apartheid. In a collaborative performance with a band, Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela will pay homage in 20 Years of Freedom: featuring South Africa’s Freedom Songs, including many of their own. While both artists have been like-minded musical comrades at home in South Africa for years and shared the stage on several occasions, this marks their debut tour joining forces together. The dynamic show backed by their 5-piece all-star band features both artists collaborating together on stage for their entire show. Their set will include many of their greatest songs from their respective catalogs.
Vusi Mahlasela, is simply known as ‘The Voice’ in his home-country, celebrated for his distinct, powerful voice and his poetic, optimistic lyrics. His songs of hope connect Apartheid-scarred South Africa with its promise for a better future. Raised in the Mamelodi Township, where he still resides, Vusi became a singer-songwriter and poet-activist at an early age teaching himself how to play guitar and later joining the Congress of South African Writers. After his popular debut on BMG Africa, When You Come Back, Vusi was asked to perform at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration in 1994. Vusi has shared the stage with Dave Matthews Band, Sting, Paul Simon, and Taj Mahal, among many others. Perhaps his biggest gig was in 2010 when he helped ring in the World Cup in South Africa, at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. Vusi has released seven studio albums to-date; his latest release is Sing to the People (ATO Records), a celebratory live recording looking back on twenty years since his first album.
Hugh Masekela is a world-renowned flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, singer and defiant political voice who remains deeply connected at home, while his international career sparkles. In 1968, his instrumental single ‘Grazin’ in the Grass’ went to Number One on the American pop charts and was a worldwide smash, elevating Hugh onto the international stage. His subsequent solo career has spanned 5 decades, during which time he has released over 40 albums (and been featured on countless more) and has worked with such diverse artists as Harry Belafonte, Dizzy Gillespie, The Byrds, Fela Kuti, Marvin Gaye, Herb Alpert, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and the late Miriam Makeba. In 1990 Hugh returned home, following the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela – an event anticipated in Hugh’s anti-apartheid anthem ‘Bring Home Nelson Mandela’ (1986) which had been a rallying cry around the world.
Don’t miss this opportunity to catch two living legends live during this historic tour! Rolling Stone hails, “…Hugh Masekela is still one of the most thrilling live performers around,” while CNN states, “The legendary singer [Vusi Mahlasela] has been celebrated globally for his powerful vocals and universal message of freedom and human kindness.”
Feb 18 @ Kupferberg Center For The Arts - Queens, NY
Feb 20 @ South Orange Performing Arts Center - South Orange, NJ
Feb 21 @ Annenberg Center - Zellerbach Theatre - Philadelphia, PA
Feb 22 @ Lisner Auditorium - Washington, DC
Feb 24 @ John Hancock Hall - Boston, MA
Feb 25 @ Mccarter Theatre - Princeton, NJ
Feb 27 @ Old Town School of Folk Music - Chicago, IL
Feb 28 @ Koerner Hall - Toronto, ON
Mar 01 @ London Music Hall - London, ON
Mar 03 @ Englert Theatre- Iowa City, IA
Mar 05 @ Center For Faith & Life - Decorah, IA
Mar 06 @ Wisconsin Union Theater - Madison, WI
Mar 07 @ Ordway Center For The Performing Arts - St. Paul, MN
Mar 09 @ John Van Duzer Theatre - Arcata, CA
Mar 10 @ Mondavi Center for The Performing Arts - Davis, CA
Mar 11 @ Zellerbach Auditorium at UC Berkeley - Berkeley, CA
Mar 13 @ Univ. of California - Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara, CA
Mar 14 @ Walt Disney Concert Hall - Los Angeles, CA