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Ibrahim Gonzalez, a Bronx artist, activist and musician
known for his work in community television and radio, dead at age 57

By Denis Slatter
New York Daily News
June 5, 2013

Norwood resident became a presence on local cable access channel Bronxnet, hosted two programs on radio station WBAI, cofounded Alianza Islamica

Ibrahim Gonzalez, a Bronx artist, activist and musician known for his work in community television and radio, died in his sleep Tuesday at age 57. His family
did not disclose the cause of his death.

The Norwood resident became a presence on local cable access channel Bronxnet and hosted two programs on radio station WBAI.

His television show featured his musical abilities and highlighted Gonzalez' love of travel and ethnic foods. His radio work mixed talk and music, and
focused heavily on the city's Latin culture.

While attending City College of New York, in the 1970s, Gonzalez protested tuition hikes. He later cofounded Alianza Islamica, one of the nation's first
Islamic-Latino organizations.

Gonzalez' family said he took after his mother, Carmen Gonzalez, a well-known voice in East Harlem who loudly fought the closure of the 121-year-old Queen of
Angels Church, in 2007.

As a percussionist, pianist, composer and music producer, Gonzalez graced stages across the country, performing with both a quintet and a big band.

Gonzalez, one of five sons who had five children of his own, grew up in the Johnson Houses in East Harlem, and moved to the Bronx in the early 1990s.

The conga-playing bandleader was a staple at the annual Bronx Ball event as well as Bronxnet's BETA awards.

"He was a colleague, a friend and neighbor," said Michael Knobbe, the executive director of Bronxnet. "When I hear Ibrahim's voice, or think of all the work
that he has done, I think of him as a true renaissance man."

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. called the artist "a pillar in our community."

"He was such a talented, multifaceted artist who truly contributed to the Bronx through his music, photography, videography, reports on television and his
radio talk shows," Diaz said in a statement.

Gonzalez is survived by his wife, Janet Norquist-Gonzalez; brothers William, Fredrick, Alfred and Ray; and children Anisa, Ismael, Halima, Sulaiman and
Ahmed.

A viewing will be held Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the First Ave. Funeral Home, 2242 First Ave., Manhattan. The family is holding a private memorial
service on Friday at Woodlawn Cemetery.

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