Even in the darkest days of apartheid, when Hugh Masekela was in exile from his South African homeland, he infused his music with the effervescence of hope and joy. His high-flying flugelhorn and trumpet became beacons of destiny. So it shouldn't be a surprise that celebration flows like fine wine through Masekela's new album, Jubulani (Razor & Tie), inspired by the traditional wedding music and dances remembered from his youth. The songs are full of advice, support, cautions, regrets, and an abundance of love as well as bittersweet realizations, such as those of the boy who lost his best friend when his sister married and moved far away. The music, Masekela's blend of jazz and the myriad sounds of South Africa, is enthralling. His sterling horn pierces the scintillating rhythms, and his charismatic vocals exude warmth and wisdom while ululations rise from the chorus. Infectious jubilation will reign as this genuine legend leads his core, six-piece band at the Dakota.
Wednesdays, Thursdays. Starts: Feb. 15. Continues through Feb. 16, 2012