"Seeing with the Heart's Eye, the Art of Yusef Lateef"
"Reception: Wed. Jan. 16, 2008; 5-7PM followed by his mini concert 7-9:30PM Swinton Center, Benedict College; The Ponder Fine Arts Gallery Rm. 203; 1600 Harden St. Columbia, SC. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to experience a multi-talented, multi-dimensional, principled, writer,composer and educator who defies labels. He has spent his entire life pursuing a career based on conviction, principle, a quest for knowledge and using his innate gifts to create books and music. He has been described as a "master of complexity," an adventurous musician and one of the most original voices in music."
"He was remarkable for his mastery of the flute, but equally adept at the
saxophone and oboe. He created compelling music that was culturally relevant for the times. He was born William Emanuel Huddleston in Chattanooga, TN. At five, he moved to Detroit, Michigan with his family, where his musical skills were honed. Detroit is a "music rich" city that has produced many great musicians including giants of jazz Kenny Burrell, Milt Jackson, Tommy Flanagan, Paul Chambers, and Donald Byrd, with all of whom Dr. Lateef forged friendships. Dr. Lateef launched his career playing with swing orchestras including Hot Lips Page, Roy Eldridge and Lucky Millender. In 1949, he joined the band of famed South Carolinian, Dizzy Gillespie, and played with him for a year."
*Dr. Lateef's desire to create new and exciting music has led him to make and experiment with many unique instruments. He makes flutes and other instruments and
plays rabat, shanai, shofar, argol, sarewa, Taiwan koto and others. Dr. Lateef has rejected the term "jazz" and "jazz musician" as limiting generalizations with multiple ambiguities and negative meanings. He describes the music he plays as auto-physio-psychic music, music that comes from the mental, physical, spiritual and intellectual self. He relates that he always attempts to "meld my soul
with the composition." Dr. Lateef prefers to be called a teacher and composer, rather than a jazz musician."
"In 1970, Dr. Lateef moved to Amherst, MA which is known as an intellectual and artistic community. As a teacher at Amherst, Dr. Lateef encouraged his students to find their own musical solutions. He continues to find his own musical solutions creating symphonies and piano concertos for groups throughout the world. He is also a writer whose books include "The Flute Book of the Blues", "A Night In The Garden of Love", and a number of short stories."
(information provided by T Geter)