Services for Ibrahim Gonzalez were as follows:
Viewing Thursday June 6, 5-9 PM
First Ave Funeral Home at 115th Street
2242 1st Ave New York, NY 10029
Funeral Services Friday June 7, 9:00 AM
Muslim Brotherhood Mosque
130 W 113th Street near St Nicholas Ave, in Harlem
Burial Services, Friday June 7, 10:30 AM
Woodlawn Cemetery, Chapel, then Hillcrest section
Bronx New York
517 E 233rd St, New York, NY 10470
Bring your instruments for Music Jam
Please send your thoughts for posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear WBAI Staff and Fans,
I thank you all for your kind words which are a true testament to who my brother was and how much he loved each and everyone of you. His loss will be one that we will all mourn for a long time. It is of great comfort for my brothers and I to read your kind words, as it lets us know that we are not alone during this difficult time. Ibrahim or Ibi as we called him was the greatest older brother that any of us could ask for, and if he touched so many of you so intimately - through his music, words, art form and even his myriad of jokes - it goes without saying that having him as an older brother was a true blessing and we are truly fortunate to have had a guide like him in our lives - a beacon of light.
On behalf of his four brothers, his loving wife, his five children and eleven grandchildren, and his numerous nephews and nieces we thank you all for loving Ibrahim so much.
With My Sincerest Grtatitude,
I have decided to celebrate the life of Ibrahim Gonzalez instead of mourning his death.
I have been aware of Ibrahim since I was a listener of WBAI listening to both his shows. As WBAI General Manager I have experienced Ibrahim in many different ways. "I just want to help" can be a loaded statement here. I spent many hours talking to Ibrahim about life, WBAI's future and the Latino programming at WBAI. I spoke to Ibrahim in my office, we had a beer or two at the bar next to WBAI's 120 Wall Street office and we has many, many phone conversation and text messages.
My relationship with Ibrahim has not always been the smoothest or most amicable because he was always passionate about WBAI and demanded excellence and also demanded more on-air time. However, we always respected each other and always had conversations about BAI and life in general. In fact, I have Ibrahim's' voicemail on my cell phone as he called me on Sunday asking to pitch another two hours live instead of a pre-recorded set.
I am glad that I recently called Ibrahim and arranged a meeting last week. Ibrahim and I had a long talk at a restaurant in the South Bronx and we had a few beers as we contemplated using the location to do live broadcasting of his Sunday show. We also talked about the future of WBAI and his show.
My only satisfaction is that I know that Ibrahim was happy and excited after our conversation and that joy was reflected on the many phone calls I subsequently received as well as through conversations with staff who observed a renewed excitement in his life and attitude. Ibrahim was also very political in his eclectic ways and very proud of his Boriqua roots. He was a strong advocate of more Latin oriented shows and did not hide his disappointment in my lack of action in instituting more Latin oriented shows in a city with such a large Latin population.
Needless to say, Ibrahim brought lots of excitement and positive challenges to my life with his views, ideas, inspiration and always positive outlook at the future of WBAI. There is so much more to say that is being articulated by the BAI family. It was an honor for me to have known and experienced Ibrahim.
WBAI Radio 99.5 FM
While Ibrahim's untimely transition is a great loss to the world and crushingly sad, it's a comfort that he clearly lived -- and clearly enjoyed -- an incredibly FULL life. A great humanitarian, artist, teacher, political activist, bon vivant...extraordinarily and generously intelligent, creative, gifted, engaged. You made good use of your precious life and have made this often hurting world a better place, Ibrahim: thank you and bless you.
I can only echo my colleagues' shock at this terrible loss for us all. Ibrahim was an excellent musician and music scholar, a skilled producer, and a real proponent of peace and justice, with a special devotion to the freedom of the Puerto Rican people. My deepest sympathies go to all his family and friends.
I thought people might appreciate reading (or rereading) the article Ibrahim wrote for the Fall 2003 issue of the WBAI Folio (for those newer folks, that was the station magazine that existed until 2006) at my request, as editor, to explain the role of Nuyorican Poets Cafe and its relationship to WBAI. It gives a special window into who he was, what was important to him, and how he expressed himself.
Co-producer/co-host, WBAI Health Action
The Nuyorican Poets Café and WBAI: A Collaborative Mix
by Ibrahim Gonzalez
As a newcomer to WBAI in 1990, I hung around seeking a niche for my burgeoning radio skills. Anthony Sloan, then Arts Director, asked, "So you want to do radio, huh?" Next thing I know, I'm setting up mics at a Nuyorican Poets Café/WBAI broadcast. Quiet on the set! Three, two, one! "We're Live From the Nuyorican Poets Café!" boomed the husky voice of maestro Miguel Algarin. Once a month in the early '90s, WBAI broadcast the Café's live poetry, music and theatre to wherever the winds carried our 50,000 watts of pure magic.
It all began in the early '70s, as a poetry happening in Miguel's East Village apartment. Nuyorican (New York Puerto Rican) poets articulated the spiritual, cultural and political sentiments of a people establishing their unique identity, resisting imperious forces of assimilation. The scene outgrew Miguel's place, and in 1974 the chieftain poet procured a storefront poetic paradise. Longtime Café overseer Lois Griffith describes a vision of "young people coming into the work; giving artists of color (but not excluding others) a venue to exchange ideas in an unpretentious atmosphere, a space where sidewalk art could walk through the door and take the stage." Taino poet/storyteller Bobby González recalls, "I just walked up to Lois, told her that we Natives and Tainos wanted to share our story, and she said, 'OK!'"
The Nuyorican has met that ideal and then some. The poetry slams pioneered in Chicago were brought to the Café in the early '90s. From these weekly rollicking competitions emerged the likes of Reg E. Gains, Kathy Price, Tracy Morris, Susan Scuttie and Hal Sirowitz. Among the new wave of verbal combatants are the Welfare Poets and a Nuyorican Poets team which won the National Slam in 1998 and second place last year.
The Café has embraced many literary forms, including screenplay readings where writers, directors and actors honed their skills. A seven-year weekly series showcased emerging edgy writers, and forty screenplays went on to production.
For several years, the Café and WBAI cosponsored block parties on East Third Street. "We would bring the WBAI Sunday programming together with the liveliness of the street," recalls Anthony Sloan, who produced the remote broadcasts with me and paved the way for other such WBAI events.
The WBAI/Café collaboration has continued. Jeannie Hopper, host of WBAI's Liquid Sound Lounge, conducted "Mixology + Wordology," a Café series launching spoken word artists who later released books and CDs -- among them Martha Cinader of Po'azz Yo'azz and Everton Sylvester and his band Searching for Expressively. Deena Kolbert and Bill DiFazio of WBAI's CityWatch have hosted Café poets, adding cultural colorfulness to their socially conscious tapestry. Poet Louis Reyes Rivera, host of WBAI's Perspective, has performed at the Café, as have many of his guests. Producer Janet Coleman has, she notes, "had several pieces about Nuyorican events on Cat Radio Café -- a really good one with Ishmael Reed and Rome Neal, when Neal directed Reed's dramatic opera 'Gethemene Park.'"
Back in the day, my teenage son Ismael often assisted me on the remote broadcasts. One life-changing, cool summer night, I witnessed the birth of a friendship on the Café stoop between Ismael and the late poet/activist Cenen Moreno. Cenen compellingly dissuaded him from joining the Marines, instead convincing him to take his place among our next generation of peacemakers.
The Nuyorican Poets Café is socially relevant and politically defiant in a city overrun by corporate conduits posturing as outlets of entertainment and culture. The vision remains, as Miguel Algarin says, "to have the world speak better and more mindfully of language."
Nuyorican Poets Café: 236 East 3rd Street (between Aves. B&C), 212-505-8183, www.nuyorican.org
Absolutely horrible news.... Could it be any worse? ..... Ibrahim was (was? was?) a great artist, WBAI producer, and .... friend. How very, very sad .... The heart and soul of WBAI .....
I still have fresh in memory Ibrahim's great conga performances at the Lafayette Grill with Ahmad Ali on guitar, and his incredible performance 2 months ago at S.O.B.'s to benefit WBAI. How could that artist just disappear like this from our lives?
And he was the one who bugged me to sell him Robert Gold's NY Mets jacket and paraphernalia after Robert moved to Colombia. Of course I did, and he wore it proudly though it clashed with his auteur outfits!
Oyyyy, this life, this life .... I'm learning to understand those who say, "I refuse to fall in love, because then breaking up is not so devastating." But we do anyway. We can't help ourselves, can we?
Farewell Ibrahim, my friend. I love you.
- Mitchel Cohen
Former Chair WBAI Local Station Board
Secretary WBAI LSB
I first met Ibrahim back in the early 70s in CUNY when I was involved with the Puerto Rican Student Union and the Young Lords at Bronx Community College. He was always supportive of the progressive issues we were dealing with at the time. For example, the struggle to establish black and Puerto Rican studies programs in CUNY, the fight for open admissions and bi-lingual education were a few battles Ibrahim supported on the educational front. The anti-war movement, the struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico and the liberation of all oppressed people were international issues Ibrahim supported. He was Puerto Rican, but his world view was that of an internationalist. He embraced and found good in all people. Our community will surely miss Ibrahim.
6.5.13 Greetings from balmy (but gloomy) NYC - I awoke yesterday to the terrible news that the Sufi "Mambo Dervish" man was no longer with us. I used to marvel at the warm love that emanated from my speakers whenever he spoke (to me) on the radio. Now I will have to face the cold world without him. Thanking you in front -
-Paul F Kessler (a subscriber)
I am truly saddened by the loss of our beloved brother Ibrahim Gonzalez. I appeared on Ibrahim's program several times and he was always willing to go the extra mile on behalf of la familia at WBAI. At any significant community activities in our barrio, we could always count on Ibrahim to be present. I can well recall a recent conversation with him on the divisions that beset some on the left and he encouraged me to participate and not surrender to the cynicism. Besides his countless contributions to Latinos, the music world, WBAI, and the progressive community, in my mind he will always be remembered for his compassion and willingness to understand the irreducible essence of our humanity and engage the family in acts of unitary love. Que en paz descanse.
-Howard Jordan, host
The Jordan Journal
I have had personal contact with very few of the present WBAI program hosts, but at the 3 AM conclusion of Radio Unnameable I regularly had the pleasure of interacting with Ibrahim. And I always listened to him while in my car as I returned home. In person, he was a supremely kind and generous man who rarely expressed any negative feelings, even during the recent trying times at the station. On the air, his style and demeanor were exemplary, as was his talent both as a broadcaster and as a musician. I will miss him very much and extend my deepest sympathies to the members of his family who I’ve seen over the years, and particularly to his wife.
Is this for real?
Thanks for being cool to me.
Shocked and very saddened to hear this news. It took my breath away.
Ibrahim was such a gentle soul. He had a keen sense of radio broadcasting and communicating personally to his audience. He simply loved the medium and it showed in everything he did on the radio. His tinder-dry wit and playful on-air presence made him a favorite with listeners and fellow broadcasters. And that beautiful, welcoming smile...
My thoughts and deepest sympathies to his family. The Mambo Dervish will always be remembered.
Former Program Director, WBAI
Program Manager, Triple R FM
To the memory of our beloved brother, treasured colleague and trusted friend Ibrahim Gonzalez, from Hugh Hamilton:
DEATH OF A COMRADE
Death must not find us thinking that we die
too soon, too soon
our banner draped for you
I would prefer
the banner in the wind
Not bound so tightly
in a scarlet fold
not sodden, sodden
with your people's tears
but flashing on the pole
we bear aloft
down and beyond this dark, dark lane of rags.
Now, from the mourning vanguard moving on
dear Comrade, I salute you and I say
Death will not find us thinking that we die.
--- Martin Carter
Deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the sudden passing of a valued radio colleague, Ibrahim Gonzalez. His passing leaves a deep hole in the heart of WBAI at a time when the station needs his goodwill the most. Sincere condolences to his family and his many fans. May he truly rest in peace!!
Host "Walden's Pond"
The strange and unexpected news that Ibrahim has transitioned has sent reverberations through the ethers... a life much weightier than the proverbial feather... Ibrahim showed by deed - not just word - that we can be gentle and gracious with one another - even in conflict. Perhaps the best tribute we - the WBAI family - can make is a living tribute - to commit ourselves to working together to truly hold this station together and restore its power through our unity. Ibrahim joined in the struggle to save WBAI without factionalization - no axe to grind - no rancor - a very positive human.
Ibrahim Gonzalez - talented music maker - gifted communicator - friend and colleague - may you have peace in your eternity. May your pathway always be illuminated with light and love.
WBAI News Dept.
aggressive without being hostile,
always with another plan, an idea to further the cause;
welcoming music into our minds,
mingled with moments vividly told
to stimulate the early morning call
to rise up, to live
In the moment.
He will be missed,
and in hind sight
elevated to the heights of
His passing is
a wake up call
a confrontation with what we
and can never understand.
Goodbye Ibrahim. It was great knowing you
on air and off
What an incredible thing... how is it that a wonderful human being can so suddenly be out of our reach? I know you are on an even more amazing journey now Ibrahim.
"Thank you" does not suffice for who you were here on Earth and for all that you did for our community. Thank you for your tender and understanding nature, for your patience and charm. You were unique among us. You will never be forgotten. And you will be sorely, sorely missed.
-Nancy Mercado, PhD
I am stunned. Still shocked.
Ibrahim's embrace towards me started,when as a volunteer in the pledge room, from the beginning of In the Moment, running in to the studio to announce pledges received. 2002 was the year. We often reviewed in conversation how time has moved. I remember bringing my children as young as 8,7 & 5 to the studio during, In the Moment, where they were welcome.
Two are in College now. How we discussed the children over the years... I remember his Mom, making Halal Pasteles and bringing them to the station for his birthday. I remember bringing my Mom to see the studio and how he actually got her to speak on air (after she suffered a stroke related speech impediment). Then we both lost our Moms within a year or so. So many experiences. So many shared interests. Spirtuality, Music, Media, the Arts, Good Food. The Grooves he would weave,while perhaps reciting Rumi or Neruda. The discussion of topics with the overnight Cabal.
He taught me the technical Art of Radio and gave me room to express my individual style. The ultimate compliment from him, was on the In the Moment I covered, after attending Richie Havens' Memorial and recanting the event, while weaving music in the background. He said, "It sounded like a show he would do." I realized The style had rubbed off. He was like an older brother to me, that I wanted to be like when I grew up.
Co-Prducer / Co-host of "In the Moment"
I am so shocked to hear of Ibrahim’s passing. He was at our gala last night and we spent a long time reconnecting and talking. He was so warm and open hearted, as always, and was genuinely moved to be there and to see me again. He was also overjoyed hearing Randy Weston play and later in the evening Roy Hargrove. He invited me onto his show to talk about the work at Harlem Stage. It had been years since we worked together and it was so good to see him on this occasion, which also marked my 25th anniversary at Harlem Stage.
This profoundly close proximity to his life ending has touched me deeply. My heart goes out to his loved ones and my spirit flies to him on his journey. He will be embraced by the Divine that he helped to fulfill in his time with us. His music plays on in the celestial spheres. ASHE!
Director of Programming
Harlem Stage / Aaron Davis Hall
Hours after finding out it is still so unbelievable. I find a part of myself still hoping it is somehow "temporary" and will yet be "revoked."
Ibrahim Gonzalez' ecstatic engagement with life was rare and beautiful and contagious. It just came pouring out of my radio like sunshine every time I listened to "In the Moment" (even though the show was on when it was dark outside). What a gift! What a loss! What a human being!
Executive Producer, Joy of Resistance
My deepest condolences to Ibrahim's family and friends.
Ibrahim was one of the great shining lights of WBAI. He was also a world class human being. He will be missed.
WBAI listener, former WBAI representative to the Pacifica National Board
What a gentle and thoughtful soul! Ibrahim was one of the true community builders at the station, ready to reach out with friendship to so many of us. I'm stunned to hear that he is gone -- it seems impossible to believe. What an amazing teacher, musician, music aficionado, spirit. My heart goes out to his family and large community of friends. Rest in peace, brother.
- Esther Kaplan
Beyond The Pale
My Dear Friend Ibrahim: We've been friends since our days many years ago at Our Lady Queen of Angels in El Barrio. Remember how we met at age 6? You punched me in the stomach, I flipped you in retaliation, and we became friends forever.
I will miss you my man. Your wisdom, your art, your friendship we a huge part of my life. My family mourns your loss.
Last thing: so glad you came over and we got to jam on electric guitar! Instead of jamming with me, now you get to jam with Hendrix!
Peace my brotha. We will all miss you.
-Ernesto Marzan y Familia
He was "a man of the moment." He stepped in championing causes that needed help, even if they were obscure causes. I am very shocked and saddened to learn of this bad news. He was such a young man.
I have some footage and photos of Ibrahim championing my cause and him just being himself. My condolences to all his many family and friends.
"The Chief" of WBAI
Are their words bigger and more powerful than "shocked" and "awed"? I'm totally and utterly speechless. Its going to be hard getting through this workday. Deepest condolences to family and friends.
WBAI Producer / Radio Host / Promoter / Engineer
Liquid Sound Lounge, From the Soundboard
To the Gonzalez Family:
May today's sorrow give way to the peace and comfort of God's love. May the love of those around you, help you through the days ahead.
WBAI Social Networking Specialist
On behalf of the On The Count Production Team, we extend our deepest condolences to the family of our friend and colleague Ibrahim Gonzalez. He was a true warrior-journalist for justice and truth. Over the years, we had several opportunities to discuss various projects and campaigns of mutual interest. His counsel and advice, based on his long years of movement struggle, served us well. His love for music and his creative spirit enriched all of our lives. He will be greatly missed but never, ever, forgotten. We speak his name and he lives again. Ibrahim Gonzalez RIP.
Executive Producer and Host
On The Count: The Prison and Criminal Justice Report
As I Grieve, Saturday morning at seven.
My dear friend, spiritual brother, musicologist, WBAI colleague and artistic genius Ibrahim Gonzalez passed away last night in his sleep.
Ibrahim lovingly and redemptively sat by my hospital bedside during my own recent near-fatal crisis. One of his latest healing messages to me was about the collective health of our WBAI community: "I only want to help."
My sadness at the loss of this brilliant Sufi "mambo dervish" temporarily eclipses the joy of our having had such a sweet, brilliant soul in our midst.
Senior National Correspondent
"May the longtime sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the clear light within you guide your way home" (Incredible String Band)
"Just remember death is not the end" (Bob Dylan)
- Andrea Katz
WBAI Interim Development Director
This is unreal. I actually thought that we might be talking about someone else. This doesn't seem possible.
- Harry Allen
What a sad exchange of news. Sending the deepest sympathies. Rest in peace and power, Ibrahim.
Light + Love,
Creator, Producer, Host
Women in the Making
I am in utter disbelief. I last saw Ibrahim on Sunday, May 19th as he was holding forth in studio with Bobby Sanabria. I was about to go on and do a Malcolm X special (May 19th is Brother Malcolm's birthday) but we had time to speak and "kick it" for a while. I had my 13 year old daughter in tow and I must say he was especially gracious towards her. He sought to connect and educate at the same time. That was part of his methodology...in music...in radio...in life. We will all miss him greatly.
Light Peace and Progress to the Spirit of Ibrahim Gonzalez,
- Basir Mchawi
Education at the Crossroads
My friend -- Ibrahim Gonzalez -- Iba'e / QEPD / RIP -- contributed goodness to our human society on his journey on Mother Earth............Let's value his work.
Thanks to Sarah Bisconte -- who values his work also -- shared these excellent links:
There is more good legacy material on YouTube.
-Baba Antonio Mondesire
My Sunday cooking ritual of "guisando con Gonzalez" will be no more. Now Ibrahim is truly "cojiendolo con take it easy." RIP and much love to his family from an audience member.
I was physically stunned upon hearing of the death of Ibrahim. He was my friend since High School, where he was the 70's rebel that we all pretended to be. He was one of the most loving gentle people that the Almighty created. I am one of those who still used his Christian name (Freddie), a monoker from so long ago, when we were all so young and filled with promise of the future. He held my son at his baptism. he held my hand during my frist divorce. He knew my second wife and managed to convince my Irish-Catholic spouse that Muslims were good and loving human beings. Ibrahim was a proud Puerto Rican who was a role model for his youth.
My heart goes out to his wife, his children and his grandchildren. I know they will carry his memory and his causes beyond his mortal existance. I hope that Ibrahim (Freddie) will hold a spot at the table so that we can laugh and sing and play music into eternity.
Schoolmate, Friend, Hermano
You are too young to be taken from us from your family. I've been listening and contributing to BAI since the early 60s. I loved the overnight and Ibrahim became such a wonderful sweet and positive presence in my ear, in my consciousness each time he was on the air. I loved him, his work, his show,... everything about him. I am going to miss listening to him terribly. I don't like seeing younger people die, but these days most are younger!
What an amazing beautiful soul was Ibrahim.
My deepest heartfelt condolences to his family and all those who loved him... and there are many. This was a man easy to love. Even his voice was incredible and easy to love.
Rest in Peace Amigo... you did amazing work down here. You are irreplaceable and your mark will never fade nor be forgotten.
Thank you for everything... Ibrahim... All that you gave to me and to us. What a generous spirit. What a loss... and what a treasure. Words can't express what needs to be known about this man.
-Jeffrey Sandor Orling
A warm gentle creative soul. May his spirit rest easy knowing he was loved and appreciated. Blessed Be.
WBAI News Dept.
Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss…our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Ibrahim Gonzalez brought so many gifts to our life. We will never forget him. Our warmest condolences.
-Steven & Naomi Pouchi
I was stunned when I opened my email Tuesday morning and saw the news about Ibrahim. I cannot think of a time he did not have a smile on his face. His heart was 100% with WBAI. And he had great taste in music. Ibrahim was a kindhearted man in an environment that was far less gentle. His soul was infused with music.
He called me twice after I left WBAI in March, no doubt to convince me to return or try to help resolve the difficulty. I was not ready to talk to anyone and I regret missing the conversation we never had. I will remember him by his loyalty and his smile. Farewell to a brother in my WBAI family. My sincere condolences to your family and to the family at the station.
the interrupted sentence
a life cut short that leaves so many longing for more
an interrupted sentence
and the desire to know more
lucky those who knew him
more than most
ibrahim we will miss you.
- Judith Schafer
Ibrahim or Ibby, as I called him, was the most well educated well articulated human being that I had ever met personally (colorful too). I had the pleasure of volunteering for him starting in the winter 2010 WBAI fund drive taking time to help out the station to support Radio Libre. It made me understand the way how he puts his energy and work ethic together to make something good and entertaining come alive onto the radio that was, is love and energy, you would be hearing on a Sunday afternoon. I'm going to deeply miss hearing the coolness of his voice and wit on the radio now he is among the eternal stars peacefully resting. I give my love and condolences to his entire family and his clique from the Latin Americ'an music scene and to WBAI. He will not be forgotten. Lets keep his memory and legacy alive for years to come!
Bronx, New York
My heart is heavy with pain and sorrow. I met Ibrahim at an event in Museo del Barrio several years ago and we always kept in touch with each other. A true Renaissance Man. I will miss him terribly.
He is an angel now, may he rest in peace. He needs all our prayers for a peaceful and loving transition; he is with his dear mother, now, whom he loved so much. One of the greatest and most loving acts for his legacy is to keep WBAI; his spirit, alive on this radio, as well as around those he loved. He is with us just in another form. He will never die in our hearts.
May God Bless him and all his loving friends and family that are going through such a difficult time, but united in the love for Ibrahim Gonzalez.
of vigilant joy.