[wpg width=”300″ height=”300″ align=”right”]Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music & Interfaith Harmony in Uganda, out April 9 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.
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.
GRAMMY-nominated Tufts University professor and Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit recorded the album in various Ugandan locales from muddy coffee fields to local synagogues. 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.
Keki says: “Use whatever you have to create peace! If you have music, use your music to create peace…We are using coffee to bring peace to the world.”
Delicious Peace Tracklist:
1. The benefits of coffee Akuseka Takuwa Kongo Group (4:23)
2. The people of Uganda Balitwegomba Choir (4:07)
3. Get up and grow coffee! J.J. Keki and the Peace Kawomera Band (3:34)
4. Hit the jerrycan! Integrated Rural Development Support Programs Choir (5:26)
5. In Uganda, everyone grows coffee Mbiko Aisa Farmers Group (4:18)
6. Let us continue farming Kasimu Namanyala and Paul Mugoya (5:26)
7. Construct a processing factory Gumutindo Quality Choir (1:49)
8. My beautiful wife, come back and we’ll grow coffee Peace Kawomera Jazz Band (5:13)
9. Poverty is an obstacle to a good marriage Masanda Group (2:22)
10. Let all religions come together Akuseka Takuwa Congo Group (5:12)
11. Salaam alaikum Balitwegomba Choir (3:26)
12. In Nangolo, we are all fired up J.J. Keki and Peace Kawomera Jazz Band (3:55)
13.If you are stuck in tradition, change will not wait for you Gumutindo Women’s Group (2:00)
14. The Bagisu people have brought vanilla and coffee Matale Mirembe Vanilla Group (2:27)
15. Educate our children Balitwegomba Choir (4:10)
16.We have improved our economic status Mbiko Aisa Farmers Group (4:29)
Royalties from the sale of this recording support education for the children of the Peace Kawomera cooperative. Summit previously produced the 2005 GRAMMY nominated album Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda for Smithsonian Folkways.
Mirembe Kawomera “Delicious Peace” coffee is available through the Thanksgiving Coffee Company in Fort Bragg, California, www.mirembekawomera.com. This project was made possible through the gracious and generous support of the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, the Perry and Martin Granoff Family Foundation, and Tufts University.
** On April 9, digital downloads and on-demand CDs can be purchased directly from Smithsonian Folkways at http://www.folkways.si.edu/. Full-album purchases include complete, original liner notes, color photographs and song translations as .PDF files. **