Ahmed Abdullah

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Ahmed Abdullah (born Leroy Bland; May 10, 1946)[1] is an American jazz trumpeter who was a prominent member of Sun Ra's band.[2]


He began playing the trumpet at age 13 in his native New York City. One of the first groups he performed with was the Master Brotherhood.[1] By the 1970s, he was performing in New York's loft scene with various groups including the Melodic Art-Tet (Charles Brackeen, Roger Blank and Ronnie Boykins, later William Parker) and joined the Sun Ra Arkestra.[1] Ahmed Abdullah formed his own band in 1972 ,and joined the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1975, working there on and off until 1993, when Sun Ra died.[1] He stayed on with the Arkestra after Sun Ra's demise working under the leadership of John Gilmore and then Marshall Allen. During his time with the Arkestra, Abdullah participated in more than 25 recordings and traveled extensively with Sun Ra.[3][4] After leaving the Arkestra, Abdullah wrote memoirs of his time with that organization. In 2002, Ahmed began teaching a course on the Music and Philosophy of Sun Ra at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Ahmed Abdullah's own bands have at times been called Abdullah, the Solomonic Unit, Diaspora and Ebonic Tones. In 1995, Ahmed and his wife, Monique Ngozi Nri, formed Melchizedek Music Productions (MMP), to breathe new life into the Sun Ra Arkestra. In 1998. Ahmed was asked to be the Music Director of Sistas' Place. and has helped to make that institution an historic landmark in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. In 2019, Abdullah and his band Diaspora collaborated with former Sun Ra comrade Francisco Mora Catlett's ensemble AfroHORN to form Diaspora Meets AfroHORN, and create the first recording for Melchizedek Music Productions: Jazz: A Music of the Spirit / Out of Sistas' Place.[5]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Sun Ra

With Billy Bang

With Arthur Blythe

With Dennis González

With The Group (Abdullah, Marion Brown, Billy Bang, Sirone, Fred Hopkins, Andrew Cyrille)

With the Melodic Art-Tet (Abdullah, Charles Brackeen, William Parker, Roger Blank, Tony Waters)


  1. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ "Ahmed Abdullah | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  3. ^ Ahmed Abdullah with Louis Reyes Rivera. "Excerpts from A Strange Celestial Road (Traveling the Spaceways)", Ahmedian.com; accessed March 28, 2015
  4. ^ Kemp, Larry (14 September 2018). Current Jazz Trumpet Legends. Dorrance Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4809-7727-3 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Ahmed Abdullah discusses new album by Diaspora Meets AfroHORN". The Wire. March 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2023.

External links[edit]