For two weeks in February, NPR's weekly radio series JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater broadcasts recent performances by jazz trumpeters Hugh Masekela and Charles Tolliver, and shares their individual stories. Masekela, onstage at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, airs the week beginning February 14. The Charles Tolliver Big Band at the Detroit International Jazz Festival airs the week beginning February 21.
Masekela, born in 1939 in South Africa, spent the 1960s in the United States. In 1968 his Afro-jazz-pop single Grazin in the Grass" became a summer anthem, and sold millions of copies. Masekela was among the first artists to bring eye-witness accounts of life under the apartheid laws to Americans. In the late 1980s he collaborated on the musical Sarafina, and composed the prophetic song Bring Back Nelson Mandela."
Charles Tolliver was the trumpeter with jazz greats Max Roach and Horace Silver in the late 1960s. Then he took a bold move and co-founded his own record label, Strata-East. His artistic independence won Tolliver strong support among young jazz fans, especially for his big band. With Love, a 2007 studio recording of the current Charles Tolliver Big Band, received a Grammy nomination.
Visit jazzset.npr.org for stations and broadcast times, or to listen on-demand.
JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater airs on 100 NPR stations, and is produced by Becca Pulliam at WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM in Newark, NJ. Funding is provided by WBGO, NPR, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Prudential Financial.
Thanks to WGBH Radio Boston and the Detroit International Jazz Festival for support for these two editions of JazzSet.