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Hugh Masekela at Philharmonic Hall poster (1972?), Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz album art (1973)

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Jan 23rd, 2018. Artwork published in
circa May 1972
    Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

    Poster for Hugh Masekela’s concert at Philharmonic Hall, presented by Gary Keys & Del Shields. Copies are available from Milton Glaser’s website.

    On 12 May 1972 [or rather 1967? See comments], South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela played Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center, New York City. The concert poster was designed by Milton Glaser. It depicts Masekela standing with his trumpet in hand, in a centered arrangement framed by stepped lines. The silhouette is filled with various patterns and ornaments, including stripes, dots, more stepped lines, and a fig leaf. The poster is printed in two colors. A third dark tone is added by overprinting red and green. As an eye-catcher, Glaser put a big smile on Masekela’s otherwise featureless solid black face. The typeface used for the artist’s name is a rarely seen style from Glaser’s own Baby Teeth. This variant with curved notches — and a likewise smiling ‘E’ — is shown as Glaser Baby Teeth Baroque in a 1971 catalog by Photo-Lettering, Inc. It can very well be that it was designed specifically for this poster.

    The design was later adapted for Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz, the fifteenth studio album by Masekela, recorded in Lagos, Nigeria in July 1973. When folded out, the front and back cover of the album show the silhouette from head to knees. The drawing is not a direct extract from the poster, but has been redone. There are a few small differences, see e.g. the fingers, the angles of the lines on the bottom right, or the shape of the ornament on the chest. The color palette here has been extended to red, gold and green. The inner gatefold is printed in a single red color and repeats some of the ornaments.

    Hugh Masekela passed away today, aged 78.

    Source: Mango DJoos (edited). License: All Rights Reserved.

    Front and back cover of Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz, Blue Thumb Records, 1973.

    Source: flycastlb (edited). License: All Rights Reserved.

    Inner gatefold with track listing and credits.

    6 Comments on “Hugh Masekela at Philharmonic Hall poster (1972?), Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz album art (1973)”

    1. Jan 23rd, 2018  3:10 pm

      There is some controversy regarding the date of the concert poster. Glaser gives a 1972 date: “Although I did this in the early seventies, it still has a lot of the sixties in it.” Other sources incl. Getty Images say it was five years earlier, in 1967. In both these years, May 12 fell on a Friday.

      A digitization of Jet magazine’s issue from 20 April 1967 includes the note: “Philharmonic Hall will be the site of South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela’s May 12 concert.” In the light of this and the fact that Glaser’s other iconic posters for concerts at Philharmonic Hall (Simon & Garfunkel, Mahalia Jackson, The Lovin’ Spoonful) were designed in 1967, the earlier date appears to be more plausible. “If you remember the ’60s …”

    2. Matsemela says:
      Feb 26th, 2018  8:21 am

      This poster is certainly from 1972. It’s no doubt about it. It’s just coincidence he played there both days. I study Masekela and this was the product of his deeply Afrocentric turn that began around 1968

    3. Feb 26th, 2018  9:20 am

      Thank you, Matsemela! I’ve changed the date to 1972. What are the odds? Sincere apologies to Milton Glaser.

    4. Matsemela says:
      Mar 4th, 2018  4:58 am

      I have been doing some more research. This image is based on a popular promotional photo of Hugh from the late 1960s. I still want to say this poster is from 72 but the original photo is much older. I’ll keep doing research.

    5. matsemela says:
      Mar 4th, 2018  5:49 am

      Sorry for all the confusion but as a historian, until I find concrete proof he also played there on this date in 1972, I think it is best to say this is from his first performance in 67. It is just so crazy that this poster would be used almost 7 years later for the album cover of the Hedzoleh Soundz album. Either way, I really need to save up $400 so that I can purchase this poster. The photo this is based on was used well into the 1980s for his stock photo. It is now a Getty Images photo.

      Feel free to contact me. I have a special interest in Masekela’s work.

    6. Mar 4th, 2018  6:51 pm

      I’m looking forward to future findings!

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