[JPL] Jazz Bids Farewell to Musical Legend in City

Larry Thomas lrt0393 at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 5 21:22:00 EDT 2008

Brother Yusuf Salim was an unsung and unheralded hero of jazz who was one ofthe most humble persons one could ever meet.  He told fascinating, revealing colorful storiesthat made jazz history come alive,  had a wonderful smile and a beautiful way of making strangers feel like they were his long lost friends.  He was a master musician who helped a great deal of musicians start their careers.  In his hometown of Baltimore he was loved and honored as a legend and we look forward to them placing his name in their jazz hall of fame.  My wife, Candace, a nationally-known fiber artist, collaborated with Brother Yusuf in 2005 on a fiber piece entitled "Moonchild". that was featured at the Reginald Lewis Museum in Baltimore this past November. 
It is currently on tour and is now at the Wright Museum in Detroit.  For more information go to CandaceThomas.com.
Larry Reni Thomas
Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC

> Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 15:55:00 -0400> From: drjazz at drjazz.com> To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com> Subject: [JPL] Jazz Bids Farewell to Musical Legend in City> > This week's sponsor: JazzWeek Summit 2009 -- dates and venue to be announced in August; registration opens in September. > > ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++> > Jazz Bids Farewell to Musical Legend in City> > By Monica Chen, The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.> > Aug. 4--DURHAM -- With jazz standards, blaring trumpets and quick drums, > about 20 musicians livened up the Hayti Heritage Center Saturday in a > celebration of the life of Yusuf Salim, a humble, caring pianist who for > 30 years was at the center of Durham's jazz scene.> > Salim's sun set on Thursday after years of battle with prostate cancer. > On Saturday, his body lay just a little ways from the stage in the > cultural center as family and friends each stepped up to bid him adieu.> > They clapped and moved their bodies to jazz pieces such as "All the > Things You Are" and favorites like "Love Train."> > The event was open to the public, and throughout the day, more than 300 > people showed up in a joyous celebration of his spirit, 78 years of age > when he died but leaving a legacy of music in Durham.> > "We love you! Brother Yusuf!" cried Larry Thomas, leading the crowd in a > chant.> > Ask anyone at the service about Salim, and they'd tell you about what an > amazing musician he was, how he knew every jazz classic. And then, > they'd add that he had incredible humility and never hesitated to help > another musician.> > "He was always very supportive of raw talent," Thomas said. "He'd look > at someone and he could just tell."> > "He was so encouraging. Even if someone was singing off-key, he'd say, > 'Oh, sing some more!'" said Candace, Thomas' wife.> > Salim, born on July 12, 1930, as Joseph Oliver Blair, had moved down to > Durham in 1974 at the invitation of a longtime friend Kenneth Murray > Muhammad. Before that, Salim had performed in Baltimore with Sammy Daivs > Jr., Moms Mabley and Redd Foxx.> > He had met Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt, Lester Young and others who > later became giants in jazz.> > In Durham, he cultivated and supported the growth of jazz.> > Salim hosted a WUNC-TV 13-part series called "Yusuf and Friends." He > also opened a club called The Salaam Cultural Center, offering workshops > to train and further the careers of North Carolina musicians such as > vocalist Eve Cornelious and Nnenna Freelon, now two internationally > known jazz musicians.> > Salim was an "icon," an "institution," a "musical legend," according to > the folks in attendance on Saturday.> > He had a smile that could light up a whole room. His hugs, for friends > and for complete strangers, will be missed.> > Friend Janice Abdullah called his music "enchanting."> > "He lived musically. He walked musically. He talked musically," he said. > "He took you under his wing with his musical charm."> > Musicians such as Elmer Gibson on piano, Eric Mrozkowski on congas and > Freeman Ledbetter on bass filled Hayti with music on Saturday.> > "I look at him like a gardener. He planted so many seeds," Candace > Thomas said. "He's gone now, but the garden will continue to bloom."> > -----> > To see more of The Herald-Sun, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to > http://www.herald-sun.com.> > Copyright (c) 2008, The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.> > Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.> > -- > Dr. Jazz> Dr. Jazz Operations> 24270 Eastwood> Oak Park, MI 48237> (248) 542-7888> http://www.drjazz.com> SKYPE: drjazz99> > --> > Jazz Programmers' Mailing List: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com> List information: http://lists.jazzweek.com/mailman/listinfo/jazzproglist> List archive: http://lists.jazzweek.com/pipermail/jazzproglist/> Sponsorship information: jplsponsor at jazzweek.com
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