HANNIBAL LOKUMBE: WATER TOO HIGH, BONES TOO LOW – WORLD PREMIERE
By Jocelyne Ninneman
On Saturday, August 24, the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans (CAC) and the Trinity Episcopal Church Artist Series present the world premiere of trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe‘s newest composition, “Water Too High Bones Too Low” at the Trinity Episcopal Church, starring a cast of notable artists. Lokumbe has been acclaimed over the years for his long-form compositions that draw equally from the worlds of oratorio and opera, indigenous West African music, and jazz.
Though a Texas native, he spent much of the 1970s and beyond in the New York City jazz scene, where he met and played with many of his personal musical influences such as Thelonius Monk, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Pharoah Sanders and more. Within his first few years in New York, he formed the Sunrise Orchestra and produced his first album, Children of the Fire (1974) – a project that catapulted him onto the world stage through extensive touring. This was also the year he devoted an album to interpretations of Jimi Hendrix.
A prolific artist, Lokumbe has released 30 albums and written more than 200 pieces over his five-decade career. Perhaps his most famous work is 1990′s African Portraits which was originally performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra but has been performed by numerous symphonies and orchestras since. He has also received a number of national awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.