Hugh Masekela withdraws from Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya concert due to ill health

Revered South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela has announced that, due ill health, he has now cancelled all of his scheduled concerts, including his appearance EFG London Jazz Festival concert Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya on 14 November at the Royal Festival Hall. The concert itself is still very much going ahead, albeit sadly without Masekela. In his statement Hugh Masekela said:

Dear Friends and media
I have been in treatment for prostate cancer since 2008 when doctors discovered a small 'speck' on my bladder. The treatment seemed to be successful, but in March 2016 I had to undergo surgery as the cancer had spread. In April 2017, while in Morocco I fell and sprained my shoulder. I began to feel an imbalance when I was walking and my left eye was troubling me. Another tumour was discovered and subsequently, in September 2017, I had emergency treatment, and the tumour was neutralised. It is a tough battle but I am greatly encouraged by the good wishes of family, friends and everyone who has supported my musical journey, which remains the greatest source of my inspiration. I have cancelled my commitments for the immediate future as I will need all my energy to continue this fight against prostate cancer. I'm in a good space, as I battle this stealthy disease, and I urge all men to have regular tests to check your own condition. Ask questions, demand answers and learn everything you can about this cancer, and tell others to do the same. This will be the only public statement I make on the matter, and I ask for privacy going forward, so that I may rest and heal.

Jazzwise joins Serious in sending Hugh our thoughts and in wishing him a speedy recovery.

In a statement festival producers said that they are Abdullah Ibrahim has agreed the concert should go ahead as planned with Ekaya as a "celebration of the music that he and Hugh created for the Jazz Epistles as a landmark in the evolution of jazz in South Africa, and in recognition of the extraordinary journey that these two icons of South African culture have taken since they created such ground-breaking and uplifting music together, in the dark apartheid days of 1960s South Africa." Serious are offering partial refunds to reflect the altered billing – and remaining tickets will be on-sale at a reduced price.

Mike Flynn

– Photo by Brett Rubin

For more info visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/

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