*Grammy award-winning multi-instrumentalist musician Yusef Lateef, known for his innovative fusion of American Jazz with Indian raga, died yesterday at his home in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, reported Ace Showbiz. He was 93.
The musician was suffering from prostrate cancer for several months.
Lateef was born William Emanuel Huddleston in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on October 9, 1920. When he was five, he and his family moved to Detroit. In his early career, Lateef toured with Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra. He also studied with Saj Dev, an Indian flute player.
He also worked on his own music and was eventually known for his innovative fusion of American Jazz with traditional African rhythms, Indian raga and eastern Arabic styles of music.
Lateef has received many accolades for his music. He won a Grammy for Best New Age Album for “Little Symphony”, his 1987 experimental album in which he played many instruments including including sitar, water drums, gourd, and kalangu.
In 2010, Lateef was named an American Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Lateef was predeceased by his first wife Tahira a daughter and a son. He is survived by his current wife, Ayesha and several grandchildren.