Muslim Names in Jazz


compiled by Michael Fitzgerald
June 15, 1999-August 17, 2005

Thanks to contributors:

David Badagnani, Luca Conti, Basirah Dean, Bill Gallagher, Joe Germuska, Eric Goldberg, Daoud A. Haroon, John Hasselback, Brandon Himmel, Leon Kerkstra, Mike Khoury, Marla Kleman, Andrew P. Lewis, Henry Loess, Rene McLean, Susan Rahim, Michael Royal, George Scala, Alan Sukoenig, Dennis Whitling, Jack Woker, François Ziegler, Mike Zimbouski

Muslim Name

Birth Name

Instrument

Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim

Juan Amalbert

per

Ahmed Abdullah

Leroy Bland

tpt

Nassar Abeday

Jon Mabry

b

Idris Ackamoor

Bruce Baker

as

Dawoud Abdus Sabur Adeyola

David Lewis

b

Kamau Adilifu

Charles Sullivan

tpt

Pheeroan AkLaff

Paul Maddox

d

Kaeef Ali

Bob Crowley, Jr.

 

Kasa Mu-Bara Allah

??

p

Akbar Ali

??

vln

Amin Ali

??

eb

Hasaan Ibn Ali

William Henry Langford, Jr.

p

Luqman Ali

Edward Skinner

d

Muhammad Ali

Raymond Patterson

d

Rashied Ali

Robert Patterson

d

Kamal Abdul Alim

??

tpt

Saeed Amir

??

p

Abdul Baari

Wendell Harrison

ts

Rashid Bakr

??

d

(Imamu) Amiri Baraka

LeRoi Jones

poet

Nasir Barakaat

Fred Lacey

g

Jamil Bashir Jaki Byard p

Zahir Batin

Michael Sheppard

per

Hassan El Benna

Horace Stamps

p

Abdullah Ibn Buhaina

Art Blakey

d

Aliyah Rabia Dawud

Dakota Staton

voc

(Alhajj) Talib Ahmed Dawud

Alfonso Barrymore

tpt

Mustapha Daleel

Oliver Mesheux

tpt

Khadijah Davis

Rosemary Davis

voc

Basirah Dean

Bonnie Carol Brown

p

Kalaparusha Ahra Difda

Maurice McIntyre

ts

Hamid Drake Hank Drake d

Ayon Falu

??

d

Shamek Farrah

??

as

Muneer Abdul Fataah

Bernard Fennell

cll

Hotep Idris Galeta

Cecil Bernard

p

Shafi Hadi

Curtis Porter

as

Nasir Hafiz

Abe Woodley

vbs

Hasin Hakim

Alfonso King

tb

Sadik Hakim

Argonne Thornton

p

Umar Hakim

??

d

Abdul Hamid

McKinley Dorham

tpt

Luqman Hamza

Larry Cummings

voc, p

Daoud A. Haroun John Mancebo Lewis tb

Abdul-Khaliq Hassan

Ray Mills

eb

Ali Hassan

??

tb

Bahir Hassan

??

d

Zain El Hussaini

??

??

Abdullah Ibrahim

Adolph "Dollar" Brand

p

Ibrahim Ibn Ismail

Walter Bishop, Jr.

p

Ahmad Jamal

Fritz Jones

p

Khan Jamal

Warren Cheeseboro

vib

Hakim Jami

Finroy Hayes

b

Hassan Jenkins

??

eb

Musa Kaleem

Orlando Wright

ts

Arleem Kareem

Pinky Williams

ts

Shafeek Kareen

Skippy Williams

ts

Muhammad Al Amien Abdul Kariem

Rene McLean

ww

Omar Ahmed Abdul Kariem

Jackie McLean

as

Musheed Karween

Rudy Powell

as

Abdullah Khalid

??

tpt

Talib Qadir Kibwe

??

as

Yusef Lateef

William Evans

ts

Hanifan Mageed

Charles Greenlee

tb

Khalil Madi

Charles Mascudi

d

Nur Mahmud Bill "Baggy" Grant d

Hernitan Maseed

Charles Greenlee

tb

Masujaa

Hugh Riley

g

Tarek Ta'us Abdul Matin

??

b

Khalid Moss

??

p

Idris Muhammad

Leo Morris

d

Qaadir Almubeen Muhammad

Ben Dixon

d

Abu Muslim

Peyton Crossley

d

Gonga Mussa

Orlando Wright

ts

Damu Mustafa Abdul Musawwir

James Blood Ulmer

g

Jamil Nasser

George Joyner

b

Abdul Nur

Ron (Rahn) Burton

p

Nadi Qamar

Spaulding Givens

p, per

Basheer Qusim

George General "Gigi" Gryce

as

Emmanuel K. Rahim

Juan Amalbert

per

Hakim Rahim

??

as

Mustafa Abdul Rahim

Donald Strickland

bcl, ts

Al Rahman

Doug Carn

key

Kahlil Rahman

??

vib

Mustafa Abdul Rahman

Donald Strickland

bcl, ts

Ron Rahsaan

??

d

El Hajj Abdullah Rasheed

Lynn Hope

ts

Haleen Rasheed

Howard Bowe

tb

Sulayman Rasheed

Howard Bowe

tb

Khaliq Abdul Al Rouf

Edgar Drew

p

Jalal Rushdan

Sonny Phillips

p, org

Abdu Saboor

??

per

Rasul Sadik

??

tpt

Mohammed Sadiq

??

 

Abdul Salaam

William "Chiefie" Scott

tpt

Liaquat Ali Salaam

Kenny Clarke

d

Mashujaa Aliye Salamu

Hugh Riley

g

Ahmad Khatab Salim

Albert Atkinson

arr

Rashied Salim

William Brister

vib, per

Yusef Salim

??

p

Sulaimon Saud

McCoy Tyner

p

Majid Shabazz

Benjamin McGriff

d

Sadiq Shabazz

Steve Berrios

d

Tarik Shah

??

b

Jaribu Shahid

Glenn Henderson

b

Sadiq Abdu Shahid

??

d

Hassan Shakur

J.J. Wiggins

b

Sahib Shihab

Edmund Gregory

bar

Rashied Sinan

??

d

Idrees Sulieman

Leonard Graham

tpt

Jamil Sulieman

George Joyner

b

Luquman Abdul Syeed

Steve Davis

b

Jamaaladeen Tacuma

Rudy McDaniel

eb

Abu Talib

Freddy Robinson

g

Abdul Khabir Wadud

Ronald DeVaughn

cll

Nasheet Waits

-

d

Abdu Wali

??

g

Khalid Yasin

Larry Young

org

Kahil'El Zabar

Clifton Blackburn

d, per

Kiane Zawadi

Bernard McKinney

eup

Notes

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (1996) corrigenda p. xxxii says: "Abdul-Malik, Ahmed [Tim, Jonathan; not Gill, Sam]" However, Ed Berger, who knew Ahmed Abdul-Malik says, "He was neither Sam Gill nor Jonathan Tim; he was Ahmed Abdul-Malik! Grove was wrong - twice. His father was Sudanese." In this regard, he really doesn't belong on this list at all. And now, there is more dispute! According to research by Robin D.G. Kelley, Abdul-Malik's father may have been not Sudanese, but West Indian! Watch this space.

The bassist "Knobby Totah" is more correctly named Nabil Totah, born in Ramallah, Palestine (Transjordan), April 5, 1930.

Contrary to Burns, bassist Ali Mohammed-Jackson is NOT bassist Alvin Jackson (brother of Milt Jackson). This information courtesy of Dan Morgenstern.

Jaribu Shahid says that it was an error on Sun Ra's part for him to be listed as Ben rather than Glenn Henderson.

While some musicians have Muslim-derived names - Aminata Moseka (Abbey Lincoln), or Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Dawoud Adeyola believes that they were/are not practicing Muslims. Adeyola also points out that some younger musicians may have been born with Muslim names.

Sources

  1. Abdul-Rahim, Emmanuel, personal correspondence, August 1999.
  2. Berger, Ed, personal correspondence, June 1999.
  3. Burns, Jim, "Turning East", Jazz Journal, March 1969, pp.2-4.
  4. Cuscuna, Michael & Michel Ruppli, The Blue Note Label, New York, Greenwood Press, 1988.
  5. Dawud, Idris, personal correspondence, January 2001.
  6. Dean, Basirah, personal correspondence, July 1999, March 2003.
  7. Gerard, Charles D., "Spirit, Soul and New Religions", Brooklyn, 1995.
  8. Gitler, Ira, notes to Charles Mingus: The Complete Debut Recordings, Fantasy 4402-2, 1990, p. 23.
  9. Haroon, Daoud A., personal correspondence, July 2005.
  10. Harrison, Bob, letter, Jazz Journal, May 1969, pp. 40-41.
  11. Hughes, Phil, letter, Jazz Journal, June 1969, pp. 22-23.
  12. Kernfeld, Barry, New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, New York, St. Martin's Press, 1996.
  13. McLean, Rene, personal correspondence, October 2003.
  14. Morgenstern, Dan, personal conversation, July 1997.
  15. Owens, Frank, "Rudy Powell," Jazz Journal, June 1970, p. 22.
  16. Royal, Michael, personal correspondence, August 2003
  17. Salemann, Dieter, letter, Jazz Journal, May 1969, p. 39.
  18. Salemann, Dieter, letter, Jazz Journal, September 1969, p. 39.
  19. Shahid, Jaribu, personal correspondence, July 1999.
  20. Wilmer, Valerie, As Serious As Your Life, Da Capo,

I also intend to check further into the following materials:

"Mohammaden Religion Appeals to Many Progressive Jazz Men", Ebony, 1953.

Cook, Ann, "Moslem Gentlemen", Jazz-Disco, April 1960.

Comments, questions, feedback via e-mail to mike at jazzdiscography.com