^ Back to Top
^ Back to Discography
Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search


Hannibal Lokumbe, trumpet
Anthony Wonsey, piano
Nimrod Speaks, bass
Byron C. Landham, drums
Mogauwane Mahloele, percussion

The journey of composer Hannibal Lokumbe, trumpeter of the Music Liberation Orchestra, 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. He 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) and is the recipient of numerous awards including The USA Artists (Cummings Fellow), The Joyce, Bessieʼs, NEA, and Lifetime Achievement Award from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Lokumbe is a leader in expressing the African-American experience through orchestral and choral music, with a particular focus on civil rights leaders. In 1998, the New Jersey Symphony commissioned and premièred God, Mississippi and a Man Called Evers about the slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Other works include Soul Brother, inspired by the life of Malcolm X, and A Great and Shining Light, about former Atlanta mayor and United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young.

He has composed works for Carnegie Hall, The Kronos String Quartet, as well as the Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and Houston Symphonies. His groundbreaking African Portraits was performed and recorded by the Chicago Symphony under the direction of Daniel Barenboim and has been performed numerous times since its November 11, 1990 Carnegie Hall début. In addition Dear Mrs. Parks, which pays homage to Rosa Parks in the form of imaginary letters to the civil rights heroine, was commissioned, performed and recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in March 2009 and released by Naxos [8.559668]. He recently played the rôle of Luke in a major production of James Baldwinʼs play The Amen Corner at The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN.

An adventurous yet flexible pianist, Anthony Wonsey started playing music when he was six. After earning a full scholarship to Berklee, from which he graduated in 1994, he moved to Boston and played locally with Roy Hargrove and Antonio Hart, among others. While still at Berklee, Wonsey toured with Christopher Hollyday, Nnenna Freelon, and Kenny Garrett. During the past few years Anthony Wonsey has played regularly and recorded with the groups of Carl Allen and Nicholas Payton.

Born in 1983 in Philadelphia, Nimrod Speaks is a trained bassist, composer and educator both on electric and double bass. He began playing at the age of sixteen on an electric Fender bass while in high school under the tutorship of Ricardo Jackson. He later was introduced to the double bass during his first semester in college. Still residing in Philadelphia, he performs in and around Philadelphia and New York City.

With some thirty recordings under his belt, Byron Landham is an extraordinarily accomplished drummer with over a hundred high profile festivals worldwide, including two appearances at Novokuznetsk in Siberia. Landham learned to read music and improve his synchronization by enrolling in Settlement Music School in 1981. As an adolescent he played side by side with the young Joey DeFrancesco, Christian McBride and Louis Taylor, and in 1986 cut his first demo CD with his brother, Christian McBride, and Edward Simon. He has continued with an impressive performing roster.

Mogauwane Mahloele was born a drummer, and learned to master his instruments through countless hours observing, participating, practising, rehearsing rhythms, and making the instruments, in order to fully understand their capabilities. Mahloele was born and raised under the apartheid system and worked to see it dismantled. These struggles frame his music, and his soul. He has been playing music, both traditional and traditionally inspired, for more than forty years. He is accomplished in both the making and playing of African drums and other instruments. He is also a sculptor, painter, actor, and audio engineer.

Role: Orchestra 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 

 View Albums

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group