Born: November 11, 1948 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Hannibal Lokumbe resides in the bucolic central Texas town of Bastrop with his wife Sumai and son Haile, but his career in music spanning more than four decades, continues to propel him forward on a globetrotting odyssey. Lokumbe’s journey has taken him from the cotton fields of Elgin, Texas, where he was first inspired by the spirituals and hymns of his grandparents, to the stages of Carnegie Hall and much of the world.
At age thirteen he was given a trumpet by his mother. A year later his band The Soul Masters was backing up icons such as Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding, Etta James, Lightning Hopkins and T. Bone Walker.
Lokumbe is the recipient of numerous awards: the Bessie’s, the NEA, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He has composed works for The Kronos String Quartet, as well as the Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and Houston Symphonies. His groundbreaking opera African Portraits was performed and recorded by The Chicago Symphony under the direction of Daniel Barenboim and has been performed nearly two hundred time since its November 11, 1990 Carnegie Hall debut. His works range from string quartets to full orchestral and choral compositions.
His oratorio “Dear Mrs. Parks” was commissioned, performed and recorded by The Detroit Symphony Orchestra in March 2009 and released November 2009 on Naxos Records.
Lokumbe spent twenty five years in New York City playing trumpet and recording with some of his jazz heroes including Gil Evans, Pharaoh Sanders, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, and McCoy Tyner among many others.
In 1974 he formed the Sunrise Orchestra and for more than fifteen years toured the world playing in every major music festival from Istanbul to China.
Lokumbe has written two books of poems. He also wrote and starred in an autobiographical play entitled Diary of an African American, which toured Europe and Colombia, South America.
Lokumbe has lectured extensively at The University of Pennsylvania and at Harvard University.
His composition A Shepherd Among Us by The Art Sanctuary was recorded and is currently being aired on channel WHYY television’s On Canvas series.
His current activities include implementing a genealogical model he created entitled From One Comes Many, at The Mc Dade Public School, West Philadelphia High School and Saint Francis De Sales.
Lokumbe is also composing a work for choir, jazz quartet and vocal soloist entitled The Parables of Mary As Given To Hannibal.
Daily activities include composing, gardening, mentoring and teaching children in history, music composition and teaching choral music to his community choir.