Hannibal Lokumbe

USA Cummings Fellow, 2009

Hannibal Lokumbe is a composer and jazz trumpeter whose career spans over forty years. He attended North Texas State University from 1967–69 and moved to New York in 1970. He spent the next 25 years there, playing trumpet and recording with legends such as Gil Evans, Pharaoh Sanders, and Elvin Jones. Lokumbe eventually formed his own Sunrise Orchestra. He has composed over 150 works, many of which take as their subject historical figures such as John Brown, Anne Frank, and Rosa Parks. He is best known for his oratorio, African Portraits, which was recorded by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1996 and covers 350 years of history with a full orchestra, gospel choir, jazz quintet, African drummer, and a griot.

Portrait photo courtesy the artist

Dear Mrs. Parks, Hannibal Lokumbe with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, 2009; photo courtesy the artist