The Fisk University Jubilee Singers have written a new chapter in their award winning 136 year history. For the first time ever, the Dove Award winning and Grammy nominated ensemble performed in Ghana, as part of the country’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary celebration.
Led by musical director Paul T. Kwami, the ensemble known and respected world-wide for the performance and preservation of the Negro spiritual, decided to return this beautiful and unique music to its roots located on the West Coast of Africa. The success of the journey preserved this historic moment for all eternity.
Ghana was one of the most significant points of departure for many enslaved West Africans bound for America during the slave trade. Those same voices from West Africa brought with them musical idioms used in creating songs during their time in slavery.
“The Fisk Jubilee Singers were in Ghana to celebrate the country’s year of Jubilee,’ said Kwami. “I was extremely pleased to see how this experienced changed the lives of my students. It was an experience that will never happen again, and those who traveled with me were blessed with life changing opportunities that will never be forgotten.”
Performing at the residence of the American Ambassador, the W.E.B. Dubois Memorial Center, the Ghana National Theater in Accra and other notable venues, the Fisk Jubilee Singers performed before captivated audiences of presidents, kings, diplomats and dignitaries, all of whom had tears of joy in their eyes.
When we sang at Elmina Castle, it was like going back to where we came from and telling the ghosts of our ancestors that we made it, and everything is going to be okay.