Legendary tenor saxophonist, oboist, flutist and composer Yusef Lateef, whose 75-year odyssey in music took him from the bebop clubs of Detroit to the fields of Africa, the world of classical music and the halls of academia as a tenured professor, died Monday at his home in Amherst, Mass. He was 93.
Activist and author Qasim Rashid (pictured) knew Lateef personally and shared the following thoughts on his Facebook page Tuesday:
Today is a day of sorrow for many including me, but also one of celebration for a brilliant life lived. One of my near and dear mentors died today. From God we are and to God must we return. His name was al-Hajj Abdul Yusef Lateef. He was 93.
Dr. Lateef accepted Islam in 1948 and is one of American history's premier Jazz Musicians. He played at Clinton's inauguration and received Jazz's highest honor in 2010, named 2010 American Jazz Master by The National Endowment for the Arts. He also won a Grammy in 1988. May he rest in peace. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/yusef-lateef-mn0000596922
Lateef's wife, Ayesha, confirmed his death to the press and conveyed to the public that her husband had passed away after a short illness that took hold in September. Lateef is survived by his wife and son, also named Yusef Lateef.
To learn more about the late legendary jazz musician, Yusef Lateef, visit his official webpage here.