Hugh Masekela & Larry Willis “Best Of Friends” US Tour 2015

Hugh Masekela
Hugh Masekela

Hugh Masekela, world-renowned trumpeter, band leader, composer, singer and activist combines his talents with long time musical cohort and exceptional pianist Larry Willis for a show of historical proportions. These two giants of music, after decades of cultivating careers apart and together, take us on a grand journey through the Great American Songbook. 

When they first met in 1961 at the Manhattan School of Music, over fifty years ago, Masekela was fresh off the plane from South Africa imbued with not only the sounds of kwela, marabi and mbaqanga, but the richness of American jazz players and singers, and Willis was an opera major with heavy jazz leanings. 

Masekela, with the help and tutelage of the likes of Miriam Makeba, Harry Belafonte, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis went on to carve out a seemingly endless (5 decades and counting) career that has produced a diverse range of music from the 1968 number 1 hit “Grazing In The Grass” to the 1986 anti-apartheid anthem “Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)”, a rallying call around the world for Mandela’s release from prison. 

Parallel to this, Willis has performed as a sideman or band member to Hugh Masekela, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw, Cannonball and Nat Adderley, as well as a solo artist. 

Experience this rare opportunity to listen to two master musicians, and best of friends, perform the Great American Songbook together.     


Thursday-Sunday November 5-8th
The Jazz Standard
New York, NY

Thursday November 12th
AMP by Strathmore
North Bethesda, MD

Friday November 13th
Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square, PA

Saturday November 14th
Monmouth University
West Long Branch, NJ

Sunday November 15th
Landmark on Main Street
Port Washington, NY

Tuesday-Wednesday November 17-18th
The Triple Door Seattle
Seattle, WA

Thursday November 19th
Revolution Hall
Portland, OR

Wednesday November 25
The Center for the Arts
Grass Valley, CA

Friday-Sunday November 27-29th
Miner Auditorium
San Francisco, CA

Tuesday December 1st
Wharton Center for the Performing Arts
East Lansing, MI

Wednesday December 2nd
Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts
Detroit, MI 

Thursday December 3rd
NightTown Cleveland
Cleveland, OH