Ahmed Abdullah’s “A Strange Celestial Road” book release party.


By Udo Salters

July 23rdThursday 2023, Harlem raised, Brooklyn resident and international jazz trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah hosted a book release party for his memoir “A Strange Celestial Road: My Time in the Sun Ra Arkestra at Sistas’ Location in Brooklyn.

The music-loving audience was treated to Mr. Abdullah reading portions of his memoirs as well as a conversation between Mr. Abdullah and his wife and musical collaborator, Monique Ngozi. Me neither. Mr. Abdullah made it a point to talk about the impact of his first 16 years on the planet in the year Harlem. That really laid the foundation for this musical journey. He grew up listening to his sister playing Dinah Jams over and over, listening to music in church (the family attended 3 different churches in Harlem), and to be around the extremely talented musicians who were performing Harlem that time.

He talked about the challenge of getting to his first rehearsal in Philadelphia with the Sun Ra Arkestra and the unusual way Sun Ra conducts rehearsals.

It was his time with Akestra that gave Mr. Abdullah the opportunity to perform around the world.

This Sunday afternoon at Sista’s Place was bittersweet for Mr Abdullah, he will also be stepping down as the Music Director of Sista’s Place to mark this momentous occasion. A great opportunity to bring in a variety of musicians to perform at this Brooklyn treasure.

The book release party was a fitting tribute to Ahmed Abdullah’s remarkable career. “Strange Heavenly Journey” is a must read for any Jazz and Sun Ra Arkestro fan.

Photo credit: 1-3) Udo Salters.

Udo Salters

Udo Salters was born and raised in New York. His love for photography began at a young age when he began taking pictures of friends and family at various events. In a natural transition, his passion changed from shooting models and fashion shows to jetting around Harlem to Hollywood and creating images of celebrities and socialites in some of the most exclusive hot spots. He has worked for many local stores Harlem World Magazine, Fortune 500 companies and many other different media outlets. Currently lives in NYC. You can get more information at Photo by Udo Salters.

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