*Unfortunately once again we have bad news to report. Saturday, it was the death of actor Bill Nunn. This time it’s regarding the passing of musician Kashif Saleem, better known simply as Kashif. He was 56.
As of this posting, we don’t have many details, but according to those who were close to him, Kashif lived alone was found by a neighbor Monday afternoon (09-26-16). The Los Angeles County Coroners’s office says he had been dead since Sunday. At this time, there is no specific cause of death. However, it appears he died of “natural causes.”
Kashif’s death is especially shocking and sad to us here at EURweb because we had a personal relationship with him that went back to the beginning of his career as a solo artist and producer. Just recently we partnered with him for his 3rd annual “Kashif and Friends” show in Hollywood in June of this year. Kashif was a master musician and was also working on new music.
Kashif Saleem, previously Michael Jones (born December 26, 1959), is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, record producer, artist, composer, author, director and educator from New York City. Kashif first taught himself to play a $3 song flute at age seven and later the piano in the basement of his church. At age 15, Kashif joined B. T. Express and performed on stages around the world. He studied Islam and changed his name from Michael Jones to Kashif, which means discoverer and inventor. He crafted his own distinctive sound and later signed with Arista Records enjoying success as a solo artist.
Kashif was born Michael Jones on December 26, 1959, in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. His only connection to his birth family is his birth certificate, which indicates that his biological mother was incarcerated when he was four months old. He was immediately put in foster care. He was constantly abused physically and mentally by his foster parents, and at the age of six, he moved into a more stable foster home. His introduction to music came in the form of a $3.00 song flute when he was in elementary school. He was instantly hooked and insisted on playing his flute all throughout the school day. His teacher encouraged him and delivered on her promise that she would help to enroll him at a junior high school that had a great music program. That is where he first learned to play trumpet, piano, flute, saxophone, and tuba. By age 12, with the mentoring of his junior high school music teacher (Robert Wedlaw) he had mastered several musical instruments and began performing in some of New York’s finest night clubs (The Copacabana and Lloyd Price’s Turntable).