Kamal Abdul-Alim

Kamal Abdul-Alim is a composer and a masterful performer-who works in the cross -pollinating idioms of Jazz, African Music and other musics of the African diaspora. His playing has to it both a power to astonish and a lyricism which rivets the listener, calling to mind the historical roots of African music. Where music was not a separate art but an important and integral part of society and life itself. Kamal is committed to presenting to his audience, a music which is spiritually uplifting, mentally inspiring, and rhythmically stimulating.  

Born in Cleveland Ohio he was introduced to music as an infant, and taught to play piano and read music by his mother. Formal studies began at the Cleveland Music settlement and in the Cleveland public school system. Where he played bass violin and tuba in the Orchestra and Band. After returning from the service he began studying the trumpet. The instrument he was fated to make his own and studied with  Janos Kiss, the famous Hungarian composer.

Leaving Cleveland in the mid 60s, Kamal entered the Berkley School of Music in Boston. There he  studied composition, arranging and performed in local Rhythm and Blues bands. To further hone his musical sensibilities, he entered the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he studied African American Music with Max Roach and Archie Shepp recieving his B.A . During this period he also organized and directed the African American Cultural Center at Amherst College. 

  Moving to Nyc in the 70’s Kamal became a personality on the N.Y. Jazz Scene and a much sought after player based on his work with bands led by Frank Foster, Clark Terry,  Ernie Wilkins, Slide Hampton, and the Jazzmobile Orchestra led by Frank  Wess. He began recordings with Eddie Jefferson, Philly Joe Jones, Reggie Workman, Billy Higgins, Bill Hardman, Frank Wright, Archie Shepp and with friends Olu Dara, Lester Bowie and Jerry Gonzales. Kamal continued his studies earned an MA. in Education from Long Island University and began teaching in the NY Public school system. He also began studies in Music Therapy at NYU and Columbia University. After developing his own personal concept, he recorded his first album "DANCE" with Idress Muhammed, James Spaulding, Bobby Watson and Ron Burton. and toured Europe with Archie Shepp and Frank Wright.

To further broaden his musical experience, in the 80s Kamal moved to Paris and began prerforming and touring  with African and Caribbean groups residing in Africa for periods of time. it was during this period while in  Dakar Senegal, that he developed the concept for his next recording "Kani Mambo".

During the 90s He returned to Nyc and continued to teach and develop music programs for the public school system. In the mid 90s he moved  to California, and continued to teach and design programs for schools in the Bay area. Extending his musical journey, Kamal began to travel and perform in Asia, residing in China, performing in Japan and joining the Bangkok Connection, a popular and destinguish band in Thailand. 

In the new millennium Kamal continues to present himself as the exponent of a timeless calling performing, touring and leading various  ensembles. Whether playing the Blues, Jazz or linking up with the Spirits of his African Ancestors. He is a most interesting performer and one not to be under estimated.