National Institute on Aging

In Memoriam: Paul T. Kwami, 1952-2022

Paul T. Kwami, an associate professor of music at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and the musical director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers from 1994 to 2022, died on September 10. He was 70 years old.

A native of Ghana, Dr. Kwami first came to Fisk University in 1983 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1985. He went on to earn a master’s degree in music at Western Michigan University and a doctor of musical arts degree from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago.

Dr. Kwami was named musical director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1994. He was the first native African to hold the position. Two years later, he was appointed chair of the department of music at the university. Dr. Kwami served in that role until 2003.

As musical director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, the group performed around the world in such venues as the Apollo Theatre in New York, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institute, and the White House. The ensemble received a Grammy Award, the National Medal of the Arts, and in 2000 was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.


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