|With the Name of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth
|P.O. Box 4211
Pinehurst, NC 28374-4211
|LESTER ALLYSON KNIBBS
(known as HAKEEM MUHAMMAD 1976-2003)
|Lester Allyson Knibbs was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Harlem and the Bronx.
He began taking piano lessons at the age of five. He studied piano with Dr. Eileen Southern (author of The Music of Black Americans). He began composing at the age of 9. He graduated from Music & Art High School. He attended Harvard University, where he was admitted to the graduate seminar in music composition at the age of 16. He has a B.A. (with honors) and a Ph.D. from Harvard. (He is the fourth African-American to obtain both a B.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard.)
He has taught at Antioch College in Ohio, Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, and Howard University in Washington, D.C. He has performed improvised music in New York, San Francisco, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, with saxophonist and performance artist Idris Ackamoor (Artistic Director of San Francisco-based Cultural Odyssey). He has given classical recitals in New York and North Carolina, and performed the Bach D-minor piano concerto with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
He founded and directed the Bilalian-American Cultural Institute, a very small, short-lived and now defunct organization for educational and cultural development. Among its activities were seminars; a group trip to the American Muslim Mission convention held on farmland in “Elijahville”, Georgia; and the purchase of a calf (a heifer, which shortly became a cow and a bull, with some help from a local bull down in North Carolina, where it was kept).
He has self-produced a compact disk of his improvised music (Inner Voices), and is a self-published author of historical essays, poems, and a play. His play, The Reservoir, had its first public reading at the Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance (BAAD!) on February 25, 2001. He presented his Ode to Ota Benga, a historical lecture with piano improvisations, at BAAD! on June 30, 2001.
From April to December 2002, Dr. Knibbs performed Afro-Americana for the Thursday evening Windows Supper Club at Windows Over Harlem Restaurant. In his Afro-Americana series, Dr. Knibbs performs works in African-American styles drawn from the classical repertoire.
Lester Allyson Knibbs
P.O. Box 4211
Pinehurst, NC 28374-4211