Reporting Lauren Lipton
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By Lauren Lipton
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On Friday, September 21st, world-renowned trumpeter and composer Hannibal Lokumbe comes to the Kimmel Center to debut a new groundbreaking work, “Can You Hear God Crying?”
“The work is based upon the life of my great-grandfather, Mr. Silas Burgess,” Lokumbe says, “who at age eight with his mother was taken into captivity on Bunce Island, off the coast of Liberia, and landed in Charleston, South Carolina, where they were bought and sold by a rice plantation owner named Burgess.”
Hannibal’s great-grandfather escaped to freedom as a teenager, bought land in Texas, and built the church that became the county’s first black school.
“He was introduced to this horrible suffering, and from it he left this extraordinary legacy, so the story’s based around his life.”
Hear Lauren Lipton’s full interview with Hannibal Lokumbe in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 6:33)…
In Hannibal’s piece, God cries to see so many of his children unable to live whole, abundant lives.
“We must really be grateful for what we have and for each other, and then we’d take better care of what we have and of each other,” Hannibal says.
The musical event on September 21st fuses jazz, gospel, and chamber music as well as West African prayers, songs, and rhythms. Many musicians are involved in the work, including the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, several community-based choirs, and the Music Liberation Project.
And that’s “Positively Philadelphia!”