Garforth Arts Festival 2011: Music legend Masekela to perform

Hugh Masekela.
Hugh Masekela.
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MUSIC legend Hugh Masekela is set to add a tuneful dash of South African style to this year’s Garforth Arts Festival.

The veteran jazz trumpeter has been confirmed on the bill for the festival’s closing night Playground Party celebration, which will take place in the grounds of Garforth Academy on July 9.

And organisers today hailed 71-year-old Masekela’s booking as a massive coup for their annual arts extravaganza.

Festival director Dave Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We are so excited about this.

“Hugh Masekela has performed all over the world, he is truly one of the great musicians of our times.”

Born in the Witbank region of South Africa, Masekela’s musical education began in 1954 when he was introduced to the trumpet by Yorkshire monk and anti-apartheid activist Archbishop Trevor Huddleston. His singles include Grazing In The Grass, which topped America’s Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1968.

Masekela’s hit Bring Him Back Home was adopted as the anthem of Nelson Mandela’s world tour following his release from prison in 1990.

As previously reported by the YEP, singer-songwriter Billy Bragg will also be performing at the Playground Party.

Other acts on the bill include Cuban-Scottish folk group Salsa Celtica and the Garforth Jazz Rock Band.

The festival, which starts on June 27, is being run by Garforth Academy and the School Partnership Trust educational charity.

Additional backing has come from Arts Council England, whose regional director, Cluny Macpherson, said he was “delighted” to support the event.

Tickets for the Playground Party cost £15 or £12 for concessions. They can be purchased from Garforth Bookshop, the School Partnership Trust shop at 115 Main Street in Garforth or Jumbo Records in Leeds city centre.

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