By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — The Nashville Symphony Orchestra has joined forces with composer and trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe for the world premiere of his composition “The Jonah People – A Legacy of Struggle and Triumph.”

The multi-media production will be presented April 13-16 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The even not only features the Symphony, but also a 100-voice choir consisting of vocalists from various HBCUs in both Tennessee and Kentucky. There are also operatic and dramatic components, with more than 30 actors utilized and it marks Lokumbe’s first opera. Yet another added segment involves an African drumming and dance ensemble.

“The Jonah People” combines  biographica, general historical and cultural milestones, chronicling the African American experience from its earliest and bleaker periods to the present day.

Hannibal Lokumbe is both a world class jazz musician and distinguished compose and has excelled in both areas for several decades. 

He has played with such jazz greats as Roy Haynes and Pharoah Sancers, while also leading his own recording and touring groups.

In addition to working with the Nashville Symphony, he has had acclaimed works commissioned for orchestras in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Cleveland among other cities. 

He also had a previous residency in Nashville with the organization Intersection in 2019. While here, he not only did lectures and seminars, but  had an original work performed at Fisk.

Tickets are now available for “The Jonah People.” Performances are set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Sunday afternoon.

For more information contact the Nashville Symphony website online at