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Jazz Maestro Bheki Mseleku Dies

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RENOWNED jazz musician Bheki Mseleku has died at the age of 53 after a long battle with diabetes.

“He was a supremely talented creative visionary," Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan said.

Jordan said the KwaZulu-Natal-born “piano maestro" died in the U K on Monday.

Jordan said Mseleku had been living in the UK and seemed to have disappeared from the live- music scene in South Africa.

Born in Lamontville, KwaZulu- Natal, Mseleku was from an artistic family, which took charge when he taught himself to play various instruments.

In 1975, he moved to Johannesburg, where he joined Spirits Rejoice and established himself as a remarkable organist.

Though Mseleku was a versatile instrumentalist, he was greatly attracted to jazz.

He exploded into the jazz mainstream when he made his debut at the acclaimed Ronnie Scott's in London.

“Mseleku was able to put African genius that had defied man-made structural constraints when it was easy to blame apartheid," said Jordan.

“We offer our condolences to his wife, family, relatives, friends and the jazz fraternity."

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