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Ahmed Abdullah

Ahmed worked for Carnegie Hall's Education Department and the Brooklyn Philharmonic as a performing and teaching artist for a number of years. He is currently a Teaching Fellow with the Department of Education, teaching music in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn at PS 3. He has a Masters degree in education and is also an adjunct professor at The New School, a university in Manhattan, where he teaches a course on the music and philosophy of Sun Ra. He has written a yet- to-be published memoir of his experience in the music entitled, A Strange Celestial Road (Traveling the Spaceways).

He leads the group Diaspora (Dispersions of the Spirit of Ra), which combines poetry and lyrics with a large instrumental group as well as the group Ebonic Tones. He is a founding member of the collective quartet, NAM. He formed Melchizedek Music Productions in 1995 with his wife, Monique Ngozi Nri. Together, they have produced concerts locally and abroad.

In 1998, Abdullah was offered the position of Music Director of Sistas' Place, a Bedford Stuyvesant coffee house. Since then, he has introduced many of the adventurous musicians of the Seventies' Loft Movement to this venue with great success. His vision has allowed for the expansion of its Saturday Night Jazz programming, from a bi-monthly to a weekly format initiating several new forums along the way. After several years of producing concerts at Sistas' Place, Melchizedek Music Productions came up with the idea of calling the music Jazz: A Music of the Spirit.

Ahmed Abdullah also became a founding member of the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium (CBJC), an umbrella group of venues and organizations that produces Jazz Festivals and other events in Brooklyn. He received a Jazz Impact Award from the CBJC in April 2009.

Sistas' Place, as of June 30, 2009, is moving to a new location at the corner of Nostrand and Jefferson avenues. The final concert, an all-star event, at the old location was organized by Melchizedek Music Productions in association with the December 12th Movement on Saturday, June 27th. The artists who performed included Rene McLean, Craig Harris, Alex Harding, Alan Jay Palmer, Alex Blake, Andrew Cyrille and Neil Clarke in one band and James Spaulding, Cecil Bridgewater, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Reggie Workman and Rudy Walker in the second ensemble to create one historic night of music.

Abdullah's CD releases, NAM Live at the Vision Festival on Clean Feed Records, Dispersions of the Spirit of Ra, Traveling the Spaceways on Planet Arts Recordings and Ebonic Tones Tara's Song on Tum Records, can be purchased from this website.


Liner Notes

Sun Ra at Inter​-​Media Arts, 1991

Read "Sun Ra at Inter​-​Media Arts, 1991" reviewed by Howard Mandel

On April 10, 1991, the night of this concert at Inter-Media Art Center in Huntington, Long Island, Sun Ra was near the apogee of his earthly transit. Having led his transformative iterations of his Arkestra around the globe for an unlikely if not unimaginable four decades, the visionary composer, keyboardist, conceptualist and cosmologist was, even though in recovery from a stroke, at the peak of his powers, two years from breaking free of his local orbit entirely. He ...

Radio & Podcasts

Ahmed Abdullah, Jimmy Cobb, Jill Barber and More

Read "Ahmed Abdullah, Jimmy Cobb, Jill Barber and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

The show must always go on. We have been reaching out to the jazz community to discuss the loss of live jazz due to COVID-19 and, with our programming we offer our contribution to keeping the jazz flame alive in these trying times. We profile new music from Ahmed Abdullah, Dave Liebman, Johnny Summers and Jill Barber. We also say good-bye to the mighty Jimmy Cobb. Enjoy our 650th Episode. Playlist Ahmed Abdullah Diaspora Meets Afro Horn “Accent" ...

Album Review

Ahmed Abdullah: Tara

Read "Tara" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

The downtown New York loft jazz of the early '70s, with its blend of free jazz and hard bop, was a great moment in time, and the musical spirit it nurtured endures. Trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah was a part of that scene, as was violinist Billy Bang, whose sound right now is the hottest thing in improvised music. Merely having him in the lineup makes Abdullah's Ebonic Tones a supergroup, like when Eric Clapton played with Stevie Winwood in Blind Faith. ...

Album Review

Ahmed Abdullah's Dispersions of the Spirit of RA: Traveling the Spaceways

Read "Traveling the Spaceways" reviewed by Rex  Butters

Even with a few Sun Ra alumni bands traveling the spaceways these days, Ra trumpet player Ahmed Abdullah casts his solar disc into the star stream with his Dispersions of the Spirit of RA group. Utilizing former Sun Ra crew members and veterans of his own units, Abdullah presents a program of both well-known and unknown compositions, keeping the vibe alive and extending our knowledge of the universe. Abdullah initiated the project as a result of a dream vision in ...

Album Review

Ahmed Abdullah's Dispersions of the Spirit of RA: Traveling the Spaceways

Read "Traveling the Spaceways" reviewed by Rico Cleffi

Travelling the Spaceways is the fruit of the labor of long-time Sun Ra trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah's Dispersions of the Spirit of Ra--a band formed after Abdullah was visited in a dream by his former band leader. His mission? To play Sun Ra's music. Abdullah surrounded himself with some fierce musicians and set out to do justice to some of Ra's vast catalog. The result does for Sun Ra's songs what the Mingus Big Band has done for that great composer's ...

Album Review

Ahmed Abdullah's NAM: Song of Time

Read "Song of Time" reviewed by Elliott Simon

For those of you who can't wait until the end of the month to experience the high caliber of creative music that is always part of the Vision Festival, Song of Time catches an inspired 2001 Festival performance by the NAM quartet. This direct-to-DAT recording perfectly captures the intimate excitement that can happen at Vision when expert musicians from diverse backgrounds cooperatively gel into a creative whole. A transgenerational multicultural grouping, NAM consists of trumpeter and leader Ahmed Abdullah, baritone ...

Album Review

Ahmed Abdullah's Diaspora: Dedication

Read "Dedication" reviewed by Derek Taylor

In the annals of free jazz drumming names like Sunny Murray, Andrew Cyrille and Milford Graves often percolate to the top of the lists as the progenitors of the tradition. Equally important, if sometimes overshadowed is Charles Moffett, who as a member of Ornette Coleman’s trio with David Izenzon completed one of the most inspiring improvising collectives of the 60s. His achievements were by no means limited to this seminal group and his career stretched well into the decade of ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Sun Ra at...

Self Produced



The James Westfall Podcast


Traveling the...

Planet Arts Records



TUM Records


Song of Time

Unknown label



CIMP Records




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