Hannibal Lokumbe is a classical composer and jazz trumpeter also known by his first name only: Hannibal. In his classical compositions, Hannibal composes music that celebrates the African-American experience on its own terms, and in a wholly serious manner; it is not jazz-derived so much as it is Pan-African-American in spirit. Hannibal's previous ...Read MoreHannibal Lokumbe is a classical composer and jazz trumpeter also known by his first name only: Hannibal. In his classical compositions, Hannibal composes music that celebrates the African-American experience on its own terms, and in a wholly serious manner; it is not jazz-derived so much as it is Pan-African-American in spirit. Hannibal's previous effort, African Portraits (1995), was released by Nonesuch with much fanfare, but was ultimately criticized for eclecticism and over ambitiousness. Dear Mrs. Parks was a 2005 commission from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and, if anything, the eclecticism is held in check; although the instrumental forces are still very large, with four soloists, two choruses, and an expanded orchestra with an added battery of percussion, Dear Mrs. Parks (2009) has a very singular purpose in mind. It is a cantata in 10 movements on Hannibal's own text in the form of letters addressed to Rosa Parks from four different characters, portrayed by soloists Janice Chandler-Eteme,...Read Less
Originally released: 2009. Factory sealed, in shrink wrap. Ships immediately. Composer Hannibal Lokumbe (born Marvin Peterson in 1948) made his reputation as a trumpeter in progressive jazz circles in the '70s, but since 1990 he's become known as a composer of large orchestral works on African-American themes. "Dear Mrs. Parks" is steeped in African and African-American idioms, from the prayerful melodic contours of spirituals and work songs to call-and-response strategies drawn from blues and jazz and an extended timpani solo--brilliantly improvised by Brian Jones--and played over a half-dozen other drums that suggest a tribal ceremony. The work unfolds in cresting choral passages, simple but effective orchestration and vocal soloists who adopt various personas. Lokumbe's text is bathed in mysticism and hope. Wilkins leads a strong, enthusiastic performance and the soloists and chorus--soprano Janice Chandler-Eteme, mezzo-soprano Jevetta Steele, bass Kevin Deas, children soprano Taylor Gardner and the combined Rackham Symphony Choir and Brazeal Dennard Chorale--all sing with distinction. --Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker, December 6, 2009
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