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Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda

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Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda album cover
01
Psalm 136
Artist: Abayudaya congregation, led by J.J. Keki
3:27
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02
Katonda Oyo Nalimana
Artist: Abayudaya congregation in Namatumba, led by Basiki Walugo
4:12
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03
Hiwumbe Awumba
Artist: Michael Mawoni (vocals and adungu)
2:33
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04
M Wana Ta Li Tambula
Artist: Phyllis Nafuna
1:21
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05
M Wana, Ngolera
Artist: Tziporah Naisi
0:52
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06
Tulo, Tulo
Artist: Phyllis Nafuna
0:55
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07
I Am A Soldier
Artist: Abayudaya children who attend the Hadassah Nursery School
0:50
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08
Mi Khamokhah
Artist: Abayudaya children who attend the Hadassah Nursery School
0:21
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09
Kabbila
Artist: Abayudaya children who attend public school in Namanyonyi
3:53
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10
Twagala Torah
Artist: Abayudaya children who attend public school in Namanyonyi
1:35
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11
We Are Happy
Artist: Abayudaya congregation, Gershom Sizomu (guitar and vocal solo), and John Mark Nkoola ( keyboard)
3:29
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12
Adon Olam
Artist: Abayudaya congregation
1:56
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13
Lekhah, Dodi
Artist: Abayudaya congregation, solo by J.J. Keki
5:23
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14
Psalm 92
Artist: Abayudaya congregation
5:02
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15
Psalm 93
Artist: Abayudaya congregation
2:47
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16
Kiddush And Motzi
Artist: Sung by Gershom Sizomu with Abayudaya community response
1:14
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17
Psalm 121
Artist: Sung by Members of the Nasenyi community, led by Rena bat Esther
1:34
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18
Maimuna
Artist: A chorus of Abayudaya and Bagisu women in Nanagolo
2:16
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19
Hinei Ma Tov
Artist: Abayudaya congregation
1:26
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20
Ali Omu Yekka
Artist: Abayudaya congregation, led by J.J. Keki
4:48
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21
Psalm 150
Artist: Abayudaya congregation
3:36
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22
Deuteronomy 32:8
Artist: Samson Mugombe
0:37
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23
Deuteronomy 32:39-43
Artist: Gershom Sizomu, J.J. Keki, Aaron Kintu Moses, and their mother, Devorah
3:39
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24
Psalm 130
Artist: Abayudaya congregation
1:52
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 24   Total Length: 59:38

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Write a Review 6 Member Reviews

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So enjoyable

RevitalP

I loved listening to this album. I would have never guessed the Jews of Uganda had such a wonderful musical tradition. I have been listening to it over and over again.

user avatar

Great on Two Levels

breadcity

This album is not only a fascinating for its anthropology, but the music is good too. To American Jews, who know many of these songs, it sounds like music from an alternate universe. Which it is.

user avatar

Amazing

nessapat

Judaism in Uganda is not something that would come to mind, if I were to think about this country; so imagine my surprise and delight when I came across this album. I may not understand the words, but I do feel the spirit and hear the beauty of music in these songs.

user avatar

Outstanding

cooperdavidc

Absolutely incredible harmonies and arrangements. These performances are every bit as inspired and inspiring as the more traditional arrangements. Our Rabbi is also a great musician and singer so he is going to flip when we play this for him. Thank you for producing and providing this music to the world.

user avatar

Beautiful harmonies

walera

This was a great find. The a cappella harmonies are lovely. It is interesting to learn about the Jewish roots, but the music definitely sounds traditionally African to my ear at least. I especially liked tracks #1, 3, 14, 15 and 20.

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Inspiring Jewish Music from Africa

RLeilaM

This uplifting album features liturgical selections and biblical passages, as well as other traditional Abayudaya songs. The music sounds African--most of us would never know that it's Jewish had we not been told. The songs here are an important testimony to the diversity of Jewish experiences world over.

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They Say All Music Guide

In many parts of the world, the Jewish tradition dates back centuries. In Uganda, however, it’s quite recent, less than 100 years old. The Abayudaya community was actually formed in 1919 by a military leader who’d been exposed to Judaism and developed a literal interpretation of the Old Testament. The Abayadaya (which means “the Jewish people”) only had sporadic contact with other Jews, and so their knowledge of Jewish prayers and their settings was fragmentary, although over time that’s grown. The group was persecuted by the Idi Amin regime, but has remained, and this music reflects the collision of Jewish and Ugandan cultures. It’s a fascinating mix, to hear prayers like “Adon Olam” sung with ineffable harmonies. There’s so much joy here on Abayudaya – Music From the Jewish People of Uganda that it doesn’t seem religious — there’s an underlying seriousness, as befits anything sacred, but the voices burst out of the speakers, and on those tracks with accompaniment, there’s simply the feel of a village enjoying itself, singing. It’s wonderful, infectious stuff, and even the solo voices seem to barely contain the pleasure. Sociology meets religion, and everyone’s a winner. – Chris Nickson

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