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CityPress - - News - PHUMLANI S LANGA phumlani.sithebe@city­press.co.za

Mu­sic leg­end Hugh Masekela dared to tread where an­gels fear to this week when he took the time to share his ex­pe­ri­ences with younger mu­si­cians in an ex­tra­or­di­nary un­re­hearsed ses­sion that left many green with envy.

While the me­dia and celebri­ties were treated to an evening of Cham­pagne-sip­ping at Fine Liv­ing by David Muir­head in Johannesburg, hip-hop and jazz col­lided in the in­tel­lec­tual con­ver­sa­tion.

The evening’s agenda was the fu­sion of young and old, hip-hop and jazz, with true fol­low­ers of both gen­res left un­der­stand­ing that the one could not ex­ist with­out the other.

Hosted by jazz writer and au­thor Percy Ma­bandu, the col­lab­o­ra­tion served as a teaser for the up­com­ing Stan­dard Bank Joy of Jazz Fes­ti­val sched­uled for Septem­ber 28 to 30, which is al­ways a high­light on the so­cial cal­en­dar.

In the au­di­ence, City Press saw Luthando “Loot Love” Shosha, T-Mu­sic­man’s Peter Tladi, pub­li­cist Me­lanie Ram­jee, Slik­our and Jazz mu­si­cian Thandi Ntuli.

The wise Masekela en­light­ened the room with his laid-back, worldly knowl­edge and in­sights on cul­ture. He spoke about how black peo­ple and jazz shaped the world as we know it.

“At a stage, ev­ery­one wanted to be a black Amer­i­can; it still hap­pens today,” Masekela said, adding that he was sad­dened by some of the young chil­dren not be­ing able to speak their mother tongue. He said this was the only place in the world where this was hap­pen­ing, where our her­itage was seen as not cool and viewed as strange and bar­baric. He ap­plauded lo­cal rap mu­si­cians for dar­ing to use in­dige­nous lan­guages and re­flect­ing on is­sues that were hap­pen­ing in so­ci­ety. He said per­haps the col­lab­o­ra­tion and the dis­cus­sion in­volv­ing old and young could help in­stil the spirit that African is cool.

The plan for the col­lab­o­ra­tion was the idea of rap­per Riky Rick, us­ing his new wave ap­proach to hip-hop pro­duc­tion to remix some of Masekela’s big­gest hits. The re­verse will hap­pen, with Masekela adding his flavour to some of Riky’s songs. Imag­ine a jazzy take of Boss Zonke or a Hugh track like The Boys Do­ing It with a few well-con­structed verses on it. An orig­i­nal song by the two would also be in­ter­est­ing. A hum­ble Riky took the au­di­ence back to a time when he re­sorted to play­ing and chop­ping tracks on a Mu­sic Pro­duc­tion Con­troller as he couldn’t play an in­stru­ment.

“To have my name men­tioned in the same breath as Un­cle Hugh is some­thing I never thought would hap­pen,” Riky said.

Bra Hugh also spoke about the early days of hip-hop and how he liked the Sugar Hill Gang, pi­o­neers of the cul­ture from Sugar Hill in New York where he once stayed.

He even hinted at maybe rap­ping some­thing on the col­lab­o­ra­tion with Riky. But all will be re­vealed at the Stan­dard Bank Joy of Jazz Fes­ti­val.

COOLABORATE Mu­sic leg­end Hugh Masekela with rap­per Riky Rick

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