Hugh Masekela began playing the trumpet at the age of 14. He played with a variety of jazz orchestras and did studio work before leaving his native South Africa in the early 1960s with his wife, singer Miriam Makeba. Once settled in America, he honed his skills at the Manhattan School of Music. In 1965, the trumpet and flugelhorn player recorded The Americanisation of Ooga Booga. Two years later, he appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival. Masekela enjoyed a big hit in 1968 with Grazing in the Grass. Turning to Africa for inspiration in the early 1970s, the artist collaborated with Nigerian musician Fela Kuti and Ghanaian orchestra Hedzoleh Soundz. In 1986, Masekela joined Paul Simon on his Graceland tour. In 1990, after the fall of Apartheid, Masekela returned to South Africa. Phola came out in 2009.