Awards 
Academic Awards, Appointments and Honors

  • Bachelor's Degree in Music: Manhattan School of Music - 1969

  • Master's Degree in Music Education: Manhattan School of Music - 1970

  • Theory Department Faculty: Manhattan School of Music - 1971

  • Associate Professor: Borough of Manhattan Community College - 1972-1976

  • Ph.D. in Education: University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - 1975

  • Senior Research Fellow: Center for Nigerian Cultural Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria - 1981-1985

  • Emeritus Five Colleges Professor: University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA / Hampshire College - 1986-2013

  • "Artist of the Year": University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - 2007

  • University Of Massachusetts Distinguished Achievement Award - 2011

  • Distinguished Alumni Award: Manhattan School of Music - 2012

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Yusef Lateef at UMass 2007
Yusef Lateef receiving the University Of Massachusetts Distinguished Achievement Award - 2011

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Letter of congratulations from UMass Chancellor to Yusef Lateef
Letter of congratulations from UMass Chancellor to Yusef Lateef

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Yusef Lateef at UMass

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Yusef Lateef in classroom

The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award

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Jazz Masters Yusef Lateef and Ornette Coleman at the 2010 NEA Awards Ceremony
Jazz Masters Yusef Lateef and Ornette Coleman at the 2010 NEA Awards Ceremony

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Jazz Masters Muhal Richard Abrams, Ornette Coleman and Yusef Lateef with Adam Rudolph at the 2010 NEA Awards Ceremony
Jazz Masters Muhal Richard Abrams, Ornette Coleman and Yusef Lateef with Adam Rudolph at the 2010 NEA Awards Ceremony

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2010 Jazz Masters (photo - Tom Pich)
In 2010 Yusef Lateef received the lifetime Jazz Master Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), an independent federal agency. Established in 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship is the highest honor that the United States bestows upon jazz musicians.

In a statement, the NEA praised him for bringing “a broad spectrum of sounds to his music through his mastery of Middle Eastern and Asian reed instruments. A major force on the international musical scene for more than seven decades, he was one of the first to bring a world music approach to traditional jazz.”

Yusef Lateef received a letter from BMI and a letter from President Barack Obama in recognition of the NEA Jazz Master Award.

A Grammy Award for Yusef Lateef's Little Symphony

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Yusef Lateef
Yusef Lateef's Little Symphony - winner of the 1988 Grammy Award for Best New Age Album

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The Grammy Award for Yusef Lateef
The Grammy Award for Yusef Lateef's Little Symphony
In 1988, Yusef Lateef's album, Yusef Lateef's Little Symphony earned him the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album despite having no prior association with New Age music. The Grammy Awards are presented annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position." Known for disliking the term "jazz", Lateef stated he has no problem with the New Age classification and believed the genre has no "negative connotations at all".

Yusef Lateef played all of the instruments on the recording, which Billboard described as "an atmospheric four-movement classical/jazz composition." Dr. Lateef played alto flute, casio, drums, Ensoniq Mirage, flute, gourd, kalangu, soprano flute, soprano saxophone, tenor flute, tenor saxophone, shannai, sitar, water drums on the recording, and also produced the album.

Sharjah Art Foundation Biennial Award

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Yusef Lateef with Abdelkébir Merchane
Yusef Lateef rehearsing with Gnawa master musician Maalem Abdelkébir Merchane at the 2011 Sharjah Biennial.

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Yusef Lateef at Sharjah
Yusef Lateef performing with Gnawa musicians in the troupe of Maalem Abdelkébir Merchane at the 2011 Sharjah Biennial.

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Yusef Lateef performing with Gnawa musician
Yusef Lateef performing with Gnawa master musician Maalem Abdelkébir Merchane at the 2011 Sharjah Biennial.
Yusef Lateef was awarded the Sharjah Art Foundation Biennial Award in 2011. The tenth Sharja Biennial lasted eight weeks and gathered contemporary artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians and dancers from all over the world.

Yusef Lateef was also commissioned to collaborate on a composition with Gnawa master musician Maalem Abdelkébir Merchane, which was performed at the Biennial and entitled "A Score for a Biennial."

The master musicians dialogued and conversed over the ferocious percussive drive of the Gnawa musicians in Merchane’s troupe. "Both legends performed on a highly spiritual level, which enraptured and transported the audience."

Wayne State University Arts Achievement Award

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Yusef Lateef performing at the 2007 Detroit Jazz Festival. (photo - Andrew Krupp)
Yusef Lateef accepting the WSU Arts Achievement Award presented by music Prof. Dennis Tini.
The College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) annually presents its Arts Achievement Awards to outstanding alumni and former students whose achievements have been widely recognized.

Yusef Lateef attended Wayne State from 1954-1958 and was presented with the Arts Achievement Award in 1998-1999.

Howard University Benny Golson Jazz Master Award

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The Benny Golson Jazz Master Award was presented to Dr. Yusef Lateef
The Benny Golson Jazz Master Award was presented to Giant of Jazz, Dr. Yusef Lateef in 2001.
The Howard University Jazz Ensemble created the Benny Golson Jazz Master Award in 1996 to honor the legacy of Howard University Alumnus Benny Golson. Dr. Golson, jazz composer and saxophonist, is the composer of jazz standards: Killer Joe, Along Came Betty, Blues March, I Remember Clifford, Stablemates, and others.

The Benny Golson Jazz Master Award was presented to Dr. Yusef Lateef in 2001.

Detroit International Jazz Festival Jazz Guardian Award for Artistry

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City of Detroit Jazz Guardian Award for Artistry presented to Yusef Lateef
Yusef Lateef was presented with the Jazz Guardian Award for Artistry in 2007.
The Jazz Guardian Award is an annual recognition of an individual with Michigan ties who through advocacy, teaching, philanthropy or musical achievement has made an extraordinary contribution to the elevation and perpetuation of Jazz.

Yusef Lateef was presented with the Jazz Guardian Award for Artistry in 2007.

"Tyner Time In Philly" Award
In 2002 the city of Philadelphia celebrated local Jazz legend McCoy Tyner and Jazz mates Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver, Kenny Barron, Keter Betts, James Moody, Pharoah Sanders, Arturo Sandoval, Hank Jones, Louis Hayes, Donald Byrd, Terence Blanchard, Celia Cruz, Barry Harris, Yusef Lateef, Ray Brown, Roy Ayers, Cedar Walton, Gary Bartz, Marcus Belgrave, Lonnie Smith, Bennie Maupin, Pat Martino, Steve Turre, Ron Carter, Joey DeFrancesco, Robin Eubanks, Richie Cole, Randy Weston, Trudy Pitts, Ron Mathews, Dick Griffin, Wendell Harrison, Doug Carn, Freddie Hubbard, Paquito D'Rivera, Carmen Lundy, Rene Marie, Jean Carne, Papo Vazquez, Bernard Linnette Sextet, Peter Washington, Francios Bourassa Trio & Andre Leroux , Billy Bang, Joe Ford and more. These music masters joined McCoy and the City of Philadelphia for a weeklong celebration.

Tyner Time In Philly's celebration is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Jazz music and the legends that make up the history of Jazz. The event recognized these artists who spent a lifetime excelling and advancing this art-form, and having committed their lives to Jazz music and its heritage.
Recognitions 
Yusef Lateef with President Bill Clinton at the White House
Yusef Lateef was invited by President Clinton to a State Dinner at the White House
honoring His Majesty Muhammed Vl, King of Morocco on June 20, 2000.

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Yusef Lateef with Bill Clinton
Yusef Lateef with President Bill Clinton

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Yusef Lateef with Bill Clinton
Yusef Lateef with President Bill Clinton

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The invitation to Yusef Lateef for the White House State Dinner
The invitation to Yusef Lateef for the White House State Dinner

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Letter to Yusef Lateef from the White House
Letter to Yusef Lateef from the White House

"Yusef Lateef Day" - San Francisco, CA

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A proclamation from the city and county of San Francisco, CA declaring October 29, 2005 as "Yusef Lateef Day"
A proclamation from the city and county of San Francisco, CA declaring October 29, 2005 as "Yusef Lateef Day"
A proclamation from the city and county of San Francisco, CA declared October 29, 2005 as "Yusef Lateef Day" in recognition of his lifetime dedication and achievements as a musician, composer, philosopher, author and educator, celebrating his remarkable life and career, and commemorating his 85th birthday.

The Yusef Lateef Scholarship Established at Hampshire College

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The Yusef Lateef Scholarship Established at Hampshire College - October, 2002
The Board of Trustees of Hampshire College voted to establish the Yusef Lateef Scholarship in honor of Yusef Lateef and express the College's gratitude for his years of dedicated teaching.

The Yusef Lateef Scholarship, initiated in 2003, is awarded by Hampshire College to "a student who shows interest and promise in music and who is need of financial support."

Medaille Remise par Gérard Trémège, Mayor of Ville de Tarbes, France

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Yusef Lateef accepting the Medal of the City - Tarbes, France
Yusef Lateef accepting the Medal of the City from Gérard Trémège, Mayor of Tarbes, France - 8.8.2011

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Yusef Lateef signing the visitor
Yusef Lateef signing the visitor's book of Tarbes, France - 8.8.2011

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Yusef Lateef and Ahmad Jamal at the "Jazz in Marciac" festival - 2011
Yusef Lateef and Ahmad Jamal at the "Jazz in Marciac" festival - 2011 (photo - Michel Viala)
Throughout the "Jazz in Marciac" festival held in the Gers region, numerous headliners come to stay in Tarbes to perform in the many rooms of music offered by the town.

On this occasion, Ahmad Jamal and Yusef Lateef, two recognized jazz musicians on the international scene were received on Monday, August 8, 2011 at City Hall, where Gérard Trémège, the Mayor of Tarbes, presented them with the Medal of the City.

"The meeting of these two names in jazz who performed the same evening in Marciac is a world first and that they came to our city is a huge honor."