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Rabbi-produced CD of Ugandan songs wins music award

BOSTON (JTA) — “Delicious Peace,” a CD of original Ugandan songs produced by the longtime Hillel director at Tufts University, won best world traditional album at the Independent Music Awards.

The CD produced by Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, an ethnomusicologist and a research professor of music at the Boston-area school, features songs about coffee and religious unity. The 13th annual awards were presented Friday.

“Delicious Peace” was created by Peace Kawomera, an interfaith cooperative of fair trade coffee growers started by J.J. Keki, a longtime leader of the Abayudaya, the Jewish community of Uganda. Keki organized the coffee cooperative as a way to foster economic development and peaceful relations among Jewish, Christian and Muslim Ugandans.

Summit has had a long association with the Abayudaya, recording the Grammy-nominated album “Abayudaya: Music of the Jewish People of Uganda.” On Monday, Summit, who has served as the rabbi and executive director of Tufts University Hillel for 25 years,  will receive the inaugural Edgar M. Bronfman Award to be presented at a Hillel International gathering in New York City.

Songs on “Delicious Peace,” on Smithsonian Folkways Records, were written by the farmers as they worked, and feature the African beat of village guitar groups and women’s choirs. The singers are accompanied with xylophone, drums and other traditional instruments on such songs as “Get Up and Grow Coffee!” and “Let All Religions Come Together.”

 

 

 

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