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Yusef Lateef, legendary jazz musician, dies at age 93

By Daniel S Levine,

Yusef Lateef, a Grammy winning jazz musician and composer, has died. He was 93.

Lateef died Monday at his Shutesbury, Mass. home, Douglass Funeral Home confirmed, reports The Associated Press.

The tenor saxophonist played multiple instruments, including flute, bassoon and oboe. He is credited with mixing instruments from around the world with jazz, essentially playing world music before the term was created. According to The Jazz Line, some of the exotic instruments he used includes the Chinese vessel flute Xun, the Japanese koto and the bamboo flute. He performed with legends like Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis.

He wrote longer pieces that have been performed by symphonies around the world. His Yusef Lateef's Little Symphony won a Grammy in 1987 and featured him playing all the instruments.

Lateef was also an educator, earning a master’s in music education from Manhattan School of Music and teaching at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1987 to 2002.

Lateef is survived by his wife, Ayesha Lateef, and son.

image: Wikimedia Commons

 
 

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