The following is a guest post by the folks at Smithsonian Folkways about a recently released collection of songs written and performed by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim coffee farmers of the Peace Kawomera (Delicious Peace) Fair Trade cooperative in Mbale, Uganda.
Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music & Interfaith Harmony in Uganda
Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music & Interfaith Harmony in Uganda which came out April 9th on Smithsonian Folkways, aims to overcome religious conflict and bring peace through song. Written and performed by coffee farmers of the Peace Kawomera (Delicious Peace) Fair Trade cooperative in Mbale, Uganda, the album features uplifting, multi-lingual songs that teach cooperation through music.
Listen to a sneak preview of Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music & Interfaith Harmony in Uganda.
Jewish Ugandan coffee farmer and musician J. J. Keki founded Peace Kawomera after witnessing the attacks of September 11, 2001 firsthand during a trip to New York City. Deeply moved, he felt compelled to bring different religions together in peace.
When Keki returned to Uganda, he walked from village to village, enlisting Jewish, Christian and Muslim farmers to join his Fair Trade cooperative. Today, over 1,000 farmers have joined Peace Kawomera.
Watch J.J. Keki explain the inspiration for Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music & Interfaith Harmony in Uganda.
Grammy award-nominated Tufts University professor and Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit recorded the album in various Ugandan locales from muddy coffee fields to local synagogues. Summit previously produced the 2005 GRAMMY nominated album Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda for Smithsonian Folkways.
Royalties from the sale of this recording support education for the children of the Peace Kawomera cooperative.
Village guitar groups and women’s choirs sing to stress the transformative impact of Fair Trade prices and to encourage their neighbors to join the coffee cooperative. They are accompanied by traditional instruments, such as embaire (xylophone with wooden keys), ngoma (drum), akadongo (lamellaphone, often referred to as a thumb piano), endingidi (one-string fiddle), and nsasi (shaker).
The performers combine various Ugandan languages and musical styles, occasionally adding Swahili, Arabic, Hebrew, and English. The people of Peace Kawomera come together to sing of the benefits of interfaith cooperation and, through music, teach new members how to produce great coffee.
- Read the liner notes by Jeffrey A. Summit to learn more about the album.
- Digital downloads and on-demand CDs can be purchased directly from Smithsonian Folkways at www.folkways.si.edu. Full-album purchases include complete, original liner notes, color photographs and song translations as .PDF files.