Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis + Juliet Kelly
Hugh Masekela has come to be known as a living legend in the decades since he first picked up a trumpet.
His voice has long spoken out in South Africa’s struggle for civil rights, whilst his soaring, joyful trumpet sound brims with warmth and bristles with elements of township jazz, hip-hop and funk. With a hugely successful solo career spanning five decades of hit songs including worldwide smash Grazin’ in the Grass and the recording of Bring Him Back Home dedicated to Nelson Mandela, he remains, in the words of The Independent, “a musician of phenomenal grace and power… still blessed with a voice that can strip the leaves from the trees.”
Alongside him, Larry Willis has long been a force on the New York jazz scene, the pianist of choice for acts as diverse as Jackie McLean, the Adderley Brothers, Dizzy Gillespie and Blood Sweat and Tears. Friends since they met in New York in the sixties, they exude the wisdom of two innovators and masters in the genre.
Juliet Kelly is one of UK jazz’s hidden treasures. Gifted with a beautiful, expressive voice, she is also a talented songwriter who draws on a diverse set of influences from pop and soul to jazz and has performed with the likes of Courtney Pine and Talvin Singh. Her fourth album, Spellbound Stories, is a set of songs based on some of her favourite novels, including The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Veronika Decides to Die by Paolo Coelho and Patrick Süskind’s Perfume: The Story of A Murderer.
“Hugh Masekela creates an instant party, leading from vocals and flugelhorn like a South African Louis Armstrong” The Guardian