As South African trumpet icon Hugh Masekela celebrates his 75th birthday he can bask in a stunning array of achievements, from his chart-topping 1968 hit “Grazing In the Grass” to his role midwifing the landmark musical Serafina, which brought the fight against apartheid to Broadway. While he arrived in New York an aspiring hardbopper, Masekela found his voice by blending the rhythms and songs of his township youth with jazz and R&B. Moving around the world in the 1970s and ‘80s he continued to absorb new influences, but three decades of exile ended in 1990 when he returned to South Africa weeks after Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. The last decade has been a high point in Masekela’s life and career, including winning the highest South African cultural award, the Order of Ikhamanga, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the WOMEX World Music Expo in Copenhagen. On the heels of his sublime four-disc set of jazz standards recorded with piano master Larry Willis, Masekela’s latest release, Playing @ Work, is a double album that Rolling Stone says delivers “hope, vitality, defiance, beauty and currency. What else could you ask from any artist?” Don’t miss this birthday celebration for a music legend who embodies the universal ideals of joy, freedom and love.