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Yusef Lateef

Yusef Lateef (Associated Press/The Detroit News, Ricardo Thomas)
Yusef Lateef (Associated Press/The Detroit News, Ricardo Thomas)

Guest Book Highlights

August 07, 2014 "I was 14 when I met Mr. Lateef, and proudly graduating Junior High school from his alma mater, Miller High School in Detroit. Sometimes it was a challenge in the bitter winter to attend when the local Jr. High was only a few blocks away, but the first black mayor of Detroit, Coleman Young, had not attended that school. Neither had Kim Weston, Kenny Burrell, Coleman Young, Milt Jackson, Yesef Lafeef and so many others including my mom (a Black Bottom Girl), but they had all graced the hallowed halls of Miller.

I was excited when he came as a special guest to our 8th grade graduation and I had a chance to speak with him. He was so patient with all of my questions, gracious and kind to everyone. He told us that we were young, black and brilliant; he had heard that many of us were on the presidential honor roll and that there was nothing that we could not achieve; how we had been groomed in a school with high expectations for it students and we were part of a legacy of excellence. I was so proud that day that day and I felt invincible. I still have his autograph and when ever I dare to act on new dreams and desires like closing shop and going back to university as a middle age student a few breaths away from being a card carrying AARP member, it is assuring to remember that I am part of a legacy of excellence.

Thank you Mr. Lateef!

Katherine Biles" - Katherine Thomas (Detroit, MI)
April 23, 2014 "The first time I heard Mr. Lateef was in Detroit. He had a fat, soulful sound. I loved his oboe playing too. He definitely brought influence to the world of music...and later on, in the mid 70's I had the great fortune to study World Music and Clarinet with him at BMCC (Bor. of Manhattan Com. College) where I was taking my A.A.S. degree. He loved poetry, and was pretty shocked when I turned in my piece on Coltrane. He was an unforgettable person, and had great depth as an artist. Last weekend I found several of his LPs in Brooklyn. He was definitely a gift -for those who encountered him, either as listeners, students, writers, etc. He was an influence on me in my teens when I listened to Radio and also stepped out to various jazz venues in my hometown of Detroit. Please accept my condolences, and know that he is part of alot of LIFE all over the world.
Thanks for listening,
Becky Friend - Jazz flute - NYC" - Becky Friend (Queens, NY)
January 02, 2014 "My sympathies go out to the Lateef family may you find comfort thru friends and family, but most of all in Gods word in this time of great sorrow. Deborah" - Deborah Halyard (Goose Creek, SC)
December 31, 2013 "i loved your music. i'm sure many others did as well. I could not resist not to just say a word upon your behalf. GOD bless you for the many hearts that you have touched. willie from South Carolina"
December 31, 2013 "condolences-may the music live on in heaven" - joaquim-rodrigues-redeemer barbosa (bridgeport, CT)
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Obituary for Yusef Lateef
SHUTESBURY, Mass. (AP) — Grammy-winning musician and composer Yusef Lateef, one of the first to incorporate world music into traditional jazz, has...
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