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Duke Arts Presents

Moonchild: Celebrating the Life & Music Of Yusuf Salim, Evening 1

Friday, October 27, 2023 | 8:00 pm

Hayti Heritage Center

Featuring Gary Bartz, Eve Cornelious, Chip Crawford, Nnenna Freelon and Rachiim Ausar-Sahu

Jazz pianist, composer, and mentor Yusuf Salim — known by the community as Brother Yusuf — was born in Baltimore, immersed in the booming jazz scene there and spent the last three decades of his life transforming the musical landscape in Durham, NC. In his adopted hometown, Brother Yusuf became a cultural catalyst and community builder, helping to establish a thriving, nationally visible jazz scene by nurturing and launching the careers of many younger vocalists and musicians in his orbit.

This two-day celebration of Brother Yusuf’s life and legacy at Durham’s historic Hayti Heritage Center begins on Friday, October 27 with North Carolina Central University jazz studies director Robert Trowers leading an all-star big band assembled for the occasion through new arrangements of Brother Yusuf’s compositions. The ensemble will feature legendary, 2024 NEA JAZZ MASTER saxophonist and educator Gary Bartz, multi-GRAMMY-nominated vocalist Nnenna Freelon, international jazz singer Eve Cornelious, NY-based composer and bassist Rachiim Ausar-Sahu, GRAMMY-winning pianist Chip Crawford, and the award-winning NCCU Jazz Band.

Part of the Building Bridges: Muslims in America series at Duke University, the celebration continues to Saturday, October 28 with two additional events: Moonchild: Free Panel Discussion and Documentary Preview and Moonchild: Celebrating the Life & Music Of Yusuf Salim, Evening 2


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Presented as part of the Building Bridges Initiative at Duke University, funded, in part, by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art & the National Endowment for the Arts, & co-sponsored by the Duke Islamic Studies Center. In partnership with the Duke Middle East Studies Center.

Cover Photo by Alan Dehmer