File #: RS2022-1847    Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 10/20/2022 In control: Metropolitan Council
On agenda: 11/1/2022 Final action: 11/1/2022
Title: A resolution honoring the life of Dr. Paul T. Kwami.
Sponsors: Freddie OConnell, Sharon Hurt, Joy Styles, Zulfat Suara, Brandon Taylor, Jennifer Gamble
A resolution honoring the life of Dr. Paul T. Kwami.

WHEREAS, Dr. Paul T. Kwami passed away on September 10, 2022 at the age of 70; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Kwami was the revered Musical Director of the award-winning Fisk Jubilee Singers and Mike Curb Jubilee Singers Endowed Chair; and

WHEREAS, Kwami was born in Ghana, West Africa in 1952 and was one of seven children who grew up surrounded by the musical influences of his father, a farmer, who was also a musician and taught him piano, violin, theory, and conducting; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Kwami studied music at Ghana's National Academy of Music where he also taught until immigrating to the United States in 1983 as a student at Fisk University; and

WHEREAS, once at Fisk University, he promptly connected with the university organist, McCoy Ransom, who became his mentor, and went on to join the Fisk Jubilee Singers; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Kwami graduated from Fisk in 1985 and continued his study of music at Western Michigan University, where he earned a Master of Music degree in 1987; and

WHEREAS, in 1994, Dr. Kwami returned to Nashville to serve as part-time director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to full-time faculty member in the music department and became the Musical Director of the ensemble; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Kwami was the first African to direct the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and the first to hold the Curb-Beaman Chair position; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Kwami went on to earn his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the American Conservatory of Music in 2009; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Kwami remained the Director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers for the rest of his life; and

WHEREAS, under his leadership the ensemble won many accolades including a Grammy, a Dove Award, the National Medal of the Arts, and were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Kwami led the Fisk Jubilee Singers to performances at The Apollo, Carnegie Hall, the White House, and his homeland of Gh...

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