Dr. Yusef Abdul Lateef
Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA
SHUTESBURY - Dr. Yusef Abdul Lateef, 93, of Shutesbury, passed away Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, late morning. He passed peacefully at home with loved ones.

Dr. Lateef was a five college professor of music and music education from 1987 to 2002 and well known for his support and mentorship of up and coming artists. Dr. Lateef was a 2010 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Award. This Grammy award-winning composer and musician's career began in the 1940's and has continued with touring and performing worldwide until summer 2013.

His biography "The Gentle Giant", by Herb Boyd, aptly describes his patient, soft-spoken demeanor and compassionate heart. Dr. Yusef Lateef was a devout member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community since 1948 and had performed the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) on two occasions.

He was predeceased by his wife Tahira Lateef, a daughter and a son. He is survived by his second son Yusef Lateef, current wife Ayesha Lateef, granddaughter Iqbal, as well a host of great-grandchildren.

Calling hours will be held Thursday, Dec. 26, 3 to 5:15 p.m. with Janaza prayers at 5:15 p.m. at the Douglass Funeral Home, 87 N. Pleasant Street, Amherst.

Obituary and memorial register at www.douglassfuneral.com.

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to www.gazettenet.com/obituaries.
Published by Daily Hampshire Gazette on Dec. 24, 2013.
Funeral services provided by:
Douglass Funeral Home
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63 Entries
Valenda Newell
November 9, 2016
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
August 7, 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
April 23, 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
January 2, 2014
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
December 31, 2013
I send my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Yusef Lateef. What a talented man, his music will be a reminder of what type of person he was.. May the God who gives peace be with all of you.- Roman 15:33. I am sorry for your loss.
December 29, 2013
What an incredible talent. I have been listening and enjoying to Eastern Sounds since it first turned me on in the early 70s. Lucky enough to hear him in concert 3 or 4 times. He never ceased to amaze his fans and the jazz world.
Malcolm Whittaker
December 29, 2013
Homeward bound. God bless
Warren Littles
December 28, 2013
From early in my life, you were ( are ) a guiding force in my life.....through all the challenges,,,a refuge......
December 28, 2013
My sincere condolences to the family for their loss. May the wonderful God of love, comfort and hope be with you during this difficult time. (James 4:8)
December 28, 2013
The jazz world has lost a great . Rest in peace my friend.
December 28, 2013
Peace the World was Blessed with your interpetation OF Great Black music ancient to the Future.
Ted Lewis
December 28, 2013
Thank You Yusef you inspired me to be better
Jonathan Yingst
December 27, 2013
May Allah grant our Brother Yusef Abdul Lateef, the blessing of Paradise.
Yahya Abdur Rahman
December 26, 2013
My deepest condolences to Mr Lateef family, may you have peace and comfort from God and friends now and in the days ahead.
December 26, 2013
I agree with Mr. Lateef's belief that we should curiously seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave, not complacently accepting what's basic or popular. "The heart of the understanding one acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks to find knowledge." Proverbs 18:15
December 26, 2013
Truly sorry for your loss. I'm sure Yusef will be remembered for his skills and abilities in the music industry. May God also keep him in his book remembrance. Malachi 3:16.
December 26, 2013
i recently listened to this great man's cd of live at peps 1 and 2 and rewarded with some of his finest recordings. he lent a great deal to world music and the great diversity that can be had in jazz. my condolenses to his family. ed weisler, lyndhurst, ohio
ed weisler
December 26, 2013
To the family
Thank you for sharing your loved one with the world; thank you for the music that never ends. Ashé.
Leslye Huff
December 26, 2013
Another legend of jazz is gone. I was shocked to hear of the passing of Yusef Lateef he was such a talent on all the instruments he played. All his music was so uplifting and happy. His "Bright Moments" song was just awesome, I found that on one of my jazz compilation albums. WOW I can just imagine the great jam sessions going on in heaven right now. May the protecting spirit of our loving savior be with your family at this time of sadness. Rest in Peace Bro Lateef. Thanks for all of the "Bright Moments" you left us.
Victor Checketts
December 26, 2013
His great music will live on.
Matthew 6: 9, 10
December 26, 2013
Dr. Yusef Lateef's assessment of the musical sensibilities of Lester Young is equally reflected in his musical voice which will continue to circle this universe. He has been reborn in the realm of our most esteemed ancestors.
Charles Ezra Ferrell
December 26, 2013
My condolences to the family of Yusef Lateef. The electrifing HIGH PRIEST of the art will be always remembered and loved dearly. Peace, blessings and comfort in your time of loss
December 25, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
December 25, 2013
Peace As A Teen Listening To The Radio 96.5 fm Philly The Mark Of Jazz Heard Bro. Lateef On Flute On Jive Samba In 'Frisco With Cannonball Wow Thanks For All The Music Thru The Years Rip
Douglas Chinn
December 25, 2013
Sorry for the loss of your loved one. Happy are the ones who mourn, since they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
December 25, 2013
I love jazz. He will be missed greatly. May you find peace in the God of all comfort.
John P
December 25, 2013
Thank You God for the Grace of the Presence of Dr. Yusef Abul Lateef. From listening to him, from when I was a very young person to having the opportunity to perform with him in Germany, His Wisdom and Spirit has and Shall continue to Live within I. I learned so much from you Brother Yusef, in a short period of time, and I shall consistently relinquish the Message...Thank You for the Musical Vibration of Oneness, and the Legacy for Us to Continue to Innovate towards the Frowardness.
Christopher Dean Sullivan
December 25, 2013
...a Great Man and a Great musician who leaves a wonderful legacy. RIP my Brother.
Emil 'Pudge' Lach
December 25, 2013
Hush N Thunder caused me to join the school band at the tender age of 10 years old. Thank you Mr. Lateef for sending me on my lifelong musical journey. Three gaints passed this year my Mother, Nelson Mandela and Brother Yusef Lateef.The phrase "Greatest Generation" has true meaning, Rest In Peace.
J.W. Kidd
December 25, 2013
Rest in peace, Dr. Lateef. Your legacy in education and music will forever live on in those you have touched. Thank you for your gifts of wisdom and maturity through the ages.
Dennis Woo
December 25, 2013
My sympathy to the family and friends of this giant of a man. He embodied talent and intelligence, but more importantly, a clear and deep understanding of human nature and what is important in this life. May he rest in eternal peace.
December 25, 2013
a Jazz giant. I still listen to his recordings frequently.
Dick Naegele, Huron, Ohio
December 25, 2013
Dear Lateef family we offer our condolences.Be comforted by the tender mercies only God can supply.
December 25, 2013
His music will be in the hearts of people, great loss, may God give comfort in His words .
Eccl. 7:1 7 A good name is better than good oil, and the day of death is better than the day of birth.
December 25, 2013
michelle plakas-kaiser
December 25, 2013
Sincere sympathy to the family of
Yusef Lateef. May the God of comfort
bless you and your family at this very
difficult time.
December 25, 2013
Brother Lateef hightened my jazz experience when he appeared in Hartford, Ct. at the Heublien Club with Cannoball Aderly in the 60's. Rest In Peace Grand Master.
William M.(Lew) Brown
December 25, 2013
Our deepest condolence to the family of Dr.Yusef Abdul Lateef.
Nadeem Bhatti
December 24, 2013
I have listened to him on various albums since the 1960's.Always different and interesting to hear.
Robert Dazer
December 24, 2013
Mr. Lateef was way ahead of his time.
I first heard him play back in the sixties while I was still in the service and became a lifelong aficionado of him and his unique
and profound musical artistry. My
deepest condolences to his family
and may his memory and music be eternal.
James Pandaru
December 24, 2013
My condolences to family and friends. I hope in time comfort can be found in reading Ps 68:19,20 in this time of sorrow.
December 24, 2013
may the God of comfort be with you and yours revelations chapter 21 vs 3&4
December 24, 2013
I would like to offer my deepest condolences at this difficult time, I'm sorry for your loss, death we are never prepared for, but please find comfort in knowing sickness and death will one day be no more.
December 24, 2013
December 24, 2013
To the3 family
I am sorry for your loss. May the God of comfort grant you peace during this most difficult time
December 24, 2013
Blessed to have known, studied with and been inspired by Brother Yusef to be a life long learner and better human being.
Greg Burk
December 24, 2013
I was blessed to have had Dr. Lateef as my faculty sponsor in my program at UMass. I had the privilege of meeting with him every week for two years. I have been moved over the years by his brilliant music, but far more moved by the man himself, perhaps the finest human being I have ever met. The Music community, and our local community here in Western Massachusetts mourns the loss of this Gentle Giant.
Ken Irwin
December 24, 2013
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
December 24, 2013
We definitely lost another great one. I am a Fan of 51 years and will play his music on my radio show. He has left a great legacy. R.I.P.
December 24, 2013
freddie snelling
December 24, 2013
Wow!!! What talent. Mr. Yusef is what I strive to become on a much smaller scale. I, too, believe that "one should seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave." Only then, can we reach our highest potential. As you well can attest to, death of a loved one can bring sadness to all who valued him as a spouse, a father, and a friend. Therefore, at times like these, my hope is that you rely upon the Almighty, roll upon him your pain and your anguish; he will act for you and grant you the comfort you need. So for today, let us all remember Mr. Lateef for the inspiration he imparted to all Jazz musicians and the precious jewel he became to all lovers of Jazz.
December 24, 2013
And a Jazz Master you were. Blessings to the family.
December 24, 2013
Yusef, may God continue to be with you. With love from your family in Lorain, Ohio the Huddlestons, Sims, Ricks.
Michael Ricks
December 24, 2013
to the spirit of yusef, we will miss you. your music and being gave us all a positive force in this world. i will dedicate my music to you dear yusef, sending you the sounds of life.

always, in spirit and music,

royal hartigan
royal hartigan
December 24, 2013
May you be comforted in knowing that God and others care,
December 24, 2013
"A good name is better than good oil" says Ecclesiastes 7:1. Yusef Lateef will not be forgotten. His musical talent and influence will be remembered.
Pamela Strong
December 24, 2013
In God's care. rest in peace
Dwayne Bickham
December 24, 2013
We as humans were created in God image able to do great things, just think what a perfect mind will accomplish under God Kingdom which we are told to pray for.(Matthew 6:9,10)
December 24, 2013
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
beverly davis
December 24, 2013
Yusef was an inspiration to me as a youth and I could emulate his sound on a recorder almost to a t. Now, I m giving my age away (64) when I tell you that I fascinated the crowd with my flutist on "Sister Mamie" LOL. I shall think of nothing but good times as a begged my Dad to sneak me into Pep's in Philly at 17, which was the concert highlight of my life. What a true talent and gentleman we have lost but smiles around, everyone, he was that sort of guy!
Bobby Bennett
December 24, 2013
Yusef was the most inspirational teacher of the "University of Life" that I ever had.
Jimmy Burgoff
December 24, 2013
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