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Dr. Yusef Lateef: A Personal Remembrance of a Mentor and Friend

Radio host remembers legendary musician

Yusef Lateef
Yusef Lateef

The passing of Dr. Yusef Lateef has left the world with one less musical legend, teacher, mentor and friend. His legacy of music spans over 60 years. You may go to his website to read further about his professional life and career, as I would like to share my personal memories of one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever known.

I met Dr. Lateef for the first time in late summer of 2010. I asked him if I could interview him for my radio show and he agreed. We did the first interview the following week, but due to telephone connection issues, I decided not to air it. At the time he was composing an opera,which I found to be both amazing beyond belief and exhilarating. In the days following the interview, we began to talk regularly about music, his long and successful career, life, and my jazz radio show. He gave me excellent advice and wisdom from beyond and was quite interested in the interviews I was conducting of jazz artists and commended me for it. Dr. Lateef was all about achieving your goals and reaching for all that life has to offer. He insisted that I was never to give up and know that there is only one me in the universe and that’s what made me special.

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