Jazz Musician/Composer Yusef Lateef Dies at 93

The New York Times reports that Grammy-winning musician and composer Yusef Lateef passed away on Monday, December 23 2013 at his home in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. He was 93.

The tenor saxophonist was known as a top flutist as well as a jazz soloist on the oboe and bassoon. He was responsible for introducing new types of flutes and other woodwind instruments from around the world into his music.

Today, The Recording Academy issued the following statement on his passing:

Tues., Dec. 24, 2013

"GRAMMY winner Yusef Lateef was an accomplished musician and composer known for his impressive and superior technique as a tenor saxophonist. He also played flute, oboe and bassoon and his passion for music led him to perform with many of jazz's greats including Cannonball Adderly, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charles Mingus, among others.

Never one to be confined by genre or boundaries, he introduced woodwind instruments from other countries into his music, and he is often credited with playing world music before it became so named. His experience as a music educator later in life infused his more recent work, and he continued to compose and perform up until this past summer.

Our music community, jazz in particular, has lost one of its giants, and his remarkable legacy will continue to inspire and teach future generations. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family, friends, and all who had the privilege of being touched by his enduring and soulful work."

Neil Portnow
The Recording Academy

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