In an interview with the Scotsman on Sunday, legendary flugelhorn player and Graceland show star Hugh Masekela hinted at a possible world tour with Paul Simon:
Masekela and Simon reunite over Darfur
LEGENDARY musicians Hugh Masekela and Paul Simon – who played together in the controversial Graceland tour of 1986 – are to reunite in a series of concerts aimed at prompting politicians to end the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.
Beginning next month with a concert in New York, the pair will launch a worldwide tour, with the support of other musicians including the singers Youssou N’Dour and Angelica Kidjo. The first performance is set to coincide with a meeting of the UN heads of state on September 25.
“It will be targeted at people who can be effective,” said Masekela, who is in Edinburgh for a concert at the Queen’s Hall tonight as part of the Fringe. “We want to get the heads of state and ministers and say to them, ‘This is serious. You have to do something about it.’”
Sudan’s government and the pro-government Arab militias are accused of war crimes against Darfur’s black African population. An estimated 250,000 people have died, with two million more living in refugee camps.
“Are we going to sit around and watch another Rwanda, and just sigh, ‘This is bad,’” said Masekela, who is an African Union goodwill ambassador for Darfur. “I called Paul and said, ‘I’m working with the Darfur people – I need your help.’ He said, ‘You just tell me what it is and I’ll be there.’
“We will do the concert in a place where we can get 500 people or so – and focus on people who can do something about it. Then we want to do a tour and hope it helps.”
Masekela, 68, has never shied away from controversy. His song Bring Him Back Home became an anthem of the campaign to free Nelson Mandela, but his involvement with Simon’s Graceland tour brought accusations of breaking a cultural boycott of South Africa.