June 2008 Tribute to Brother Yusuf Salim
Brother Yusuf Salim was born in Baltimore, MD, and came to the Triangle Area in the mid-70s. He was soon followed by his good friend, Bus Brown, a consummate jazz singer, song writer, and teacher to all. Brother Yusef played all the clubs in the area for over 30 years. He always had a kind word and smile for all. I called him, the "Godfather of NC Jazz."
Freeman Ledbetter, Durham-based bass player, organized a tribute to and for Brother Yusuf. Jazz musicians from around the Triangle area showed up at the nursing home where Brother Yusuf stayed the last few weeks of his life. Although his hands were cripled over, and his body, too, after listening to others play for a while, Brother Yusuf asked to play. And then the magic began as he played with just a few fingers on each hand the most beautiful music. It was a wonderful memorable moment.
I am forever thankful to both Brother Yusuf Salim and Bus Brown for their music, their talents, their friendship, their teaching and encouragement to all. You will be missed always.