Cape Town - Legendary South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela has died after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.
The veteran trumpeter and ground breaking artist was 78. The star was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008.
He went on to cancel all scheduled performances in October, as his health was deteriorating.
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has confirmed the news.
A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind musician with the passing of Jazz legend bra Hugh Masekela. We can safely say bra Hugh was one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz and he uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music. #RIPBraHughMasekela pic.twitter.com/JVy47GA6aU— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) January 23, 2018
The family has released a statement following his death:
Simphiwe Dana says goodbye to Hugh Masekela in moving tribute:
TV personality Nandi Madida rememebers time spent with Hugh Masekela.
What is your favorite song by the Legendary Hugh Masekela?
Tributes continue to pour in on social media.
Rest in Power tata Hugh Masekela. uLale ngoxolo ????— Touch HD (@TouchHDOnline) January 23, 2018
What is your favorite song by the Legendary Hugh Masekela?
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Such devastating news about the passing on of SA's Father of Jazz Hugh Masekela. Condolences to the Masekela family. Lala ngoxolo Bra Hugh. What a life. What a legend.— Khanyi Dhlomo (@KhanyiDhlomo) January 23, 2018
Remembering Hugh Masekela: the horn player with a shrewd ear for music of the day (Via The Conversation)
"I don't want to be yesterday's guy."
President Zuma sends his condolences on passing of Mr Hugh Masekela
President Jacob Zuma has expressed heartfelt condolences on the sad passing of internationally acclaimed jazz artist, legendary trumpeter, cultural activist and liberation struggle veteran Mr Hugh Masekela, who has passed on at the age of 78.
COSATU remembers Hugh Masekela:
#HambaKahleBraHugh ...#BraHugh Masekela performed at a #COSATU Congress and recorded at CD with workers' choirs @eNCA @ewnupdates @SABCNewsroom @Powerfm987 @Radio2000ZA @NathiMthethwaSA @SAgovnews pic.twitter.com/GsUWg3G1Ee— @COSATU Today (@_cosatu) January 23, 2018
City of Johannesburg Press Statement by The Executive Mayor, Cllr Herman Mashaba
I am sad to learn of the passing of legendary South African trumpeter, composer and singer, Hugh Masekela. Ntate Masekela died today at the age of 78 after a battle with prostate cancer.
I would like to send my sincere condolences to his family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.
Considered the "father of South African jazz", we can scarce tell the story of South Africa without speaking of his immense contributions to the liberation of black people through his jazz compositions. He was a personal favourite of mine, and ignited my love for jazz music.
Well known for anti-apartheid songs such as "Soweto Blues" and "Bring Him Back Home", his skill and mastery of the trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, cornet and vocals will continue give joy and upliftment to future generations.
Ntate Hugh Masekela was internationally renowned and locally loved and celebrated. South Africa has lost one of its best. His music will continue to live on in our hearts as we remember him.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
WATCH: Hugh Masekela remembers getting a trumpet from Louis Armstrong (Read more here)
Rocking the Daisies pays tribute to Bra Hugh on Twitter:
We are very sad to hear that iconic South Africa jazz musician Hugh Masekela has passed away. Thank you for using your craft as a weapon of political change & inspiring a generation to follow their dreams.#HughMasekela is pictured here performing on the Main Stage at #RTD2016. pic.twitter.com/py8U05VFI1— Rocking the Daisies (@RockingTheDaisy) January 23, 2018
Sal Masekela pays tribute to his father in moving Facebook post:
It is with heavy heart that I confirm that my father, Hugh Ramapolo Masekela, has hung up his horn after a long battle with prostate cancer. It is difficult to comprehend that this moment is real. To me, my father has always been both ageless and immortal. Of the countless shows I had the honor of watching my dad perform, each felt like the first, each felt brand new.
At the age of 5 he first introduced me to the late night halls of Manhattan's The Village Gate and Mikell's, where he would steal the hearts and souls of innocents with a musical storytelling all his own, passionately and relentlessly transporting them to the farthest reaches of Africa with both voice and trumpet. It was these moments and his choosing to take me around the globe any chance he got, that would come to shape my entire world view.
"In 1954 Father Trevor Huddleston gave Bra Hugh Masekela his first trumpet from Louis Armstrong and asked Uncle Sauda to teach him basics, the rest became a colourful history."
Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula remembers Hugh Masekela as a "legend" and "national monument of pride."
Rest in eternal peace, Bra Hugh by Mmusi Maimane - Leader of the Democratic Alliance
The DA is deeply saddened by the passing of our national treasure, Hugh Masekela.
We extend our love and condolences to his family, loved ones and the South African music fraternity. His unmistakable sound will echo in our hearts forever.
Bra Hugh was more than just a Jazz musician, he was a musical genius and a fearless activist.
His music told the stories of our people and reflected the struggles of black South Africans opposing apartheid.
His music reflected the difficult realities of life in the township but also brought to life the vibrant spirit of Sophiatown.
His sound would later go on to inspire the sounds of musicians across the musical spectrum.
Bra Hugh was a giant among his peers. His music touched the lives of true music lovers, irrespective of colour or creed.
We all sang and danced to Thanayi and songs such as Stimela made us all contemplative.
Bra Hugh was a proud African and a true son of the soil. We are grateful for his immense contribution to South Africa and the continent as a whole.
Our nation owes you a great debt of gratitude, Bra Hugh.
Rest in peace, Bra Hugh. We will miss you!
ANC SHOCKED AND SADDENED BY THE PASSING OF MUSICAL GENIUS HUGH MASEKELA
The African National Congress has received with shock and sadness news of the passing of legendary anti-apartheid activist and musical genius, Hugh Ramapolo Masekela.
Dubbed the "Father of South African Jazz, Bra Hugh was a towering figure, both at home and around the world, an ardent advocate for freedom and a rebelliously defiant voice against oppression and injustice. He passes on following a courageous battle against prostate cancer.
Born in April 1939, Bra Hugh proved his musical ability at the young age collaborating with various legendary artists to craft music that reflected his experiences and portray the struggles of living under the yoke of apartheid rule in South Africa.
Like many of our struggle icons, he was forced to go into exile in the 1960s because of his music which was unsilenced in the face of discrimination. As international pressure mounted on the apartheid government to release political prisoners in the 1980s, Bra Hugh, through his music, became of the voice and conscience of countless generations of South Africans. His anthemic "Bring Him Back Home", amongst his many works, spoke of the yearning the South African people had for freedom and liberation.
The African National Congress sends condolences to the Masekela family and the creative industry. We extend our sympathies to the people of South Africa on the loss of so legendary an icon.
Indeed, a baobab tree has fallen. May his soul rest in peace.
Issued by the African National Congress
Sal Masekela on his father's death: It is difficult to comprehend
In a heartfelt and lengthy statement posted on his Instagram account, the son of Hugh Masekela, Sal Masekela shared his heartfelt pain following the death of his father.
Never-Before-Seen Photos By Masekela's Long-Time Photographer Reveal Life Of A Legend (Via Huffington Post)
Hugh Masekela's long-time photographer spoke to HuffPost on Tuesday morning to remember the life of the legendary musician, who had just passed away.
Brett Rubin, who grew up learning Masekela's music as a young musician himself, says the experience of working with him was often unreal.
'He hid his condition very well' - Simphiwe Dana sobs as she remembers her mentor Bra Hugh (Via You Magazine)
Simphiwe Dana couldn't hold back tears when she spoke about the late Hugh Masekela.
The award-winning artist woke up on her birthday to news that her friend and mentor had died after battling with prostate cancer since 2008.