Hotep Idris Galeta

Hotep Idris Galeta (7 June 1941[1] – 3 November 2010) was a South African jazz pianist and educator. His legal name at birth was Cecil Galeta, but according to local custom he was more commonly known as a child and young man as Cecil Barnard, his father's first name being used instead of a last name.

Hotep Idris Galeta
Hotep Idris Galeta.jpg
Background information
Birth nameCecil Galeta
Born(1941-06-07)7 June 1941
Crawford, Cape Town, South Africa
Died3 November 2010(2010-11-03) (aged 69)
Johannesburg, South Africa
GenresSouth African jazz, bebop, post bop, folk
Occupation(s)Pianist, composer, bandleader
Years active1955–2010
Associated actsHerb Alpert, John Handy, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvin Jones, Hugh Masekela, Jackie McLean, Mario Pavone, Joshua Redman, Archie Shepp, Caiphus Semenya


Early yearsEdit

In his teens he played with some of the best jazz musicians in South Africa; Abdullah Ibrahim (then known as Dollar Brand) and Lami Zokufa introduced him to bebop and hard bop.[2] In 1961 he left South Africa clandestinely, following many other South African performers to the United Kingdom (severe restrictions on public gatherings following the Sharpeville massacre had made entertainment careers impossible for any but white artists, and the already poor quality of life for non-whites was deteriorating rapidly as apartheid became ever stricter). After a year in the United Kingdom, he moved to the United States.

In the USEdit

In the United States, he played and recorded with Herb Alpert, John Handy, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvin Jones, Hugh Masekela,[2] Jackie McLean, Mario Pavone, Joshua Redman, and Archie Shepp. Outside jazz he performed and recorded with David Crosby and the Byrds. In 1985, Jackie McLean invited him to teach at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, where he taught until his return to South Africa in 1991, following the collapse of apartheid.[2]

Return to South AfricaEdit

After his return, he recorded, performed, and taught in South Africa. His teaching engagements included four years on the faculty of the University of Fort Hare, the musical directorship of a national music education program for high schools, and co-ordination of music outreach programs in Cape Town. He was also Project Manager for the establishment of a school of jazz and a multimedia audio visual production center at the University of Fort Hare's new urban campus in the east coast South African city of East London in the Eastern Cape Province.[3]


Galeta died in Johannesburg on the 3 November 2010, following an asthma attack.[4]


With John Handy


  1. ^ Brubeck, Darius (2002). "Galeta, Hotep Idris". In Barry Kernfeld (ed.). The new Grove dictionary of jazz, vol. 2 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. pp. 5–6. ISBN 1561592846.
  2. ^ a b c Jacobson, Nils (2003-11-15). "Hotep Idris Galeta Takes It Home". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
  3. ^ "Galeta, Hotep Idris (South Africa)". Retrieved 2010-10-31.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Hotep - Heading Home".
  6. ^ "Malay Tone Poem".