Join us this New Years’ as we commemorate the life and work of jazz tenor saxophonist, flautist, and composer Yusef Abdul Lateef, who passed away on Monday, December 23, 2013. We will pre-empt all regular programming from 12 midnight Wednesday, January 1 to 9:30am Thursday, January 2 to celebrate Lateef’s legacy.
Lateef, born on October 9, 1920, was known for his use of non-traditional jazz instruments and incorporation of non-Western influences into his music. Having come in contact as a young man with soon-to-be-prominent jazz musicians such as Milt Jackson, Paul Chambers, and Kenny Burell, Lateef was invited to tour with Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra in 1949. Lateef went on to collaborate with musicians such as Cannonball Adderley, Charles Mingus, and Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji in his swift ascent to fame as a pioneer of world music. In 1987, his album Yusef Lateef’s Little Symphony won the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album, and in 2010 Lateef received the Jazz Master Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.