Interim Musical Director
Dr. Anthony Williams
Dr. Paul Kwami | 1952-2022
Dr. Paul T. Kwami was Musical Director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers® and Mike Curb Jubilee Singers Endowed Chair from 1994-2022.
Kwami was born in Ghana, West Africa, one of seven children. His father, a musician, taught him piano, violin, theory, and conducting. He studied music at Ghana’s National Academy of Music and taught there until immigrating to the US in 1983 as a student at Fisk University. He promptly joined the Fisk Jubilee Singers.
After graduating from Fisk in 1985 he continued to study music at Western Michigan University and graduated in 1987 with the Master of Music degree. In the spring of 1994, he was solicited to serve as part-time director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. In the fall of the same year, he was promoted to full-time faculty member in the music department and became the Musical Director of the ensemble. He was the first African to direct the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and the first to hold the Curb-Beaman Chair position. He was the Mike Curb Jubilee Singers Endowed Chair. Kwami received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the American Conservatory of Music.
Kwami, a composer and arranger, felt a deep connection between Negro spirituals and the music of his Motherland. “The music we sing today helps to bridge the gap between Africans and African-Americans,” he said. “I am reminded of my life in Ghana whenever I hear the Fisk Jubilee Singers sing the Negro spirituals.”
The music also touched his spirit. He believed in the faithfulness of God, who was a source of faith, wisdom, hope, and love for slaves and for the original Fisk Jubilee Singers.
He was an Associate Professor of Music at Fisk University.