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Abayudaya: Music From Jewish People of Uganda

Abayudaya-Music From the Jewish People of Ugand Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Price: $16.50 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 24 Songs, 2003 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2003 $16.50  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Psalm 136Abayudaya Congregation, Led By J.J. Keki 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Katonda Oyo NalimanaAbayudaya Congregation In Namatumba, Led By Basiki Walugo 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Hiwumbe AwumbaMichael Mawoni (Vocals And Adungu) 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. M Wana Ta Li TambulaPhyllis Nafuna 1:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. M Wana, NgoleraTziporah Naisi0:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Tulo, TuloPhyllis Nafuna0:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. I Am A SoldierAbayudaya Children Who Attend The Hadassah Nursery School0:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Mi KhamokhahAbayudaya Children Who Attend The Hadassah Nursery School0:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. KabbilaAbayudaya Children Who Attend Public School In Namanyonyi 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Twagala TorahAbayudaya Children Who Attend Public School In Namanyonyi 1:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. We Are HappyAbayudaya Congregation, Gershom Sizomu (Guitar And Vocal Solo), And John Mark Nkoola ( Keyboard) 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Adon OlamAbayudaya Congregation 1:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Lekhah, DodiAbayudaya Congregation, Solo By J.J. Keki 5:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Psalm 92Abayudaya Congregation 5:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Psalm 93Abayudaya Congregation 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Kiddush And MotziSung By Gershom Sizomu With Abayudaya Community Response 1:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Psalm 121Sung By Members Of The Nasenyi Community, Led By Rena Bat Esther 1:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. MaimunaA Chorus Of Abayudaya And Bagisu Women In Nanagolo 2:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Hinei Ma TovAbayudaya Congregation 1:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Ali Omu YekkaAbayudaya Congregation, Led By J.J. Keki 4:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Psalm 150Abayudaya Congregation 3:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Deuteronomy 32:8Samson Mugombe0:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Deuteronomy 32:39-43Gershom Sizomu, J.J. Keki, Aaron Kintu Moses, And Their Mother, Devorah 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Psalm 130Abayudaya Congregation 1:52$0.99  Buy MP3 

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

Abayudaya: Music From Jewish People of Uganda + Sing For Joy: Abayudaya Jews ~ Uganda + Abayudaya: The Jews of Uganda
Price for all three: $86.11

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 21, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Smithsonian Folkways
  • ASIN: B0000CDL6K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,518 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No one's ever going to accuse Smithsonian Folkways of not practicing niche marketing with Abayudaya: Music From The Jewish People Of Uganda. Currently a community of 600 people, the Abayudaya developed their faith in relative isolation since converting to Judaism in 1919 under the guidance of Semei Kakungulu, a military leader who fought Muslims and Catholics for control of Uganda. Consequently, these 24 songs are distinctly African, often with polyphonic vocal harmonies (of men, women, and children) that joyfully soar in Hebrew, English, and several Ugandan languages. There are also touches of celebratory Afro-pop with rudimentary electric keyboard and guitar and a handful of more personal solo vocal performances. While some of this was recorded in a makeshift studio, the field recordings are what capture this unique culture's essence, as crickets (and once even a goat) providing ambient coloring. One of the most interesting international and religious albums of the year, this music transcends its ambition of being Jewish music by and for Jews. --Tad Hendrickson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EarthAngelChoir September 19, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Place me squarely in the pack of people who love this cd. I picked this one up in early 2004 and have been loving it ever since. I listened to it again last night and earlier today and felt it to be even more powerful than usual.

I'm surprised one reviewer remarked about the rather low-tech recording. This disc? This disc is as good as you can imagine a field-recording sounding. If you let yourself go, you are right there in that little temple with these fantastic singers. There is as little distance between performer and listener on this disc as is possible. Their voices are all around you.

The break down is like this... 2 songs in english, a few tunes of very bad keyboard-dominated Afro-pop, one great tune with singing and drumming, a couple with acoustic guitar, and the rest is some of the most beautiful vocal music I've ever been lucky enough to experience. Maybe it's just me, but there is something about great women's voices. Most of these tunes are dominated by the voices of young women, sometimes young women and girls, and sometimes females and males.

I can't even really find the words for this disc. This is a brilliant Ugandan folk choir, I guess I'd call them. This music is love and extended-family as song. It's a cliche to comment on the call-and-response aspect in this or that African musics, but it is such a wide open thing. So much possibility exists. Some of my all-time favorite call-and-response happens on this disc. These young women are in that upper tier of the best that humans have to offer each other.

This is deeply spiritual community music of the highest order. There is something so gentle and pure and seemingly innocent about this music. It breaks my heart every time I hear it.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing June 1, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Though Reviewer Timothy Dougal did not find this cd to be a "satisfying hourlong musical experience" I would have to disagree. As he mentioned, this is not for everyone, but no music is. If you find any interest in such a topic, buy it. You will not regret it. Being Jewish, as well as an avid folk and roots music fan, I find that this cd has much to offer for many people. Where Dougal found familiarity with the "O Brother" sound track, it should be noted that this is nothing like that, and should not be bought with such a notion. The quality of the recording is amazing. The voices are clear, the bass is balanced and the warmth is felt. I wonder if Dougal has ever listened to Patton's recordings and commented on those. Never forget the circumstances that such pieces are recorded in, and even with this remembered, this album is amazing in production. But don't take my word for it, listen to some of the tracks and determine for yourself. And as a quick note, the editorial review suggests that Judaism was brought in the wake of war between Muslims and Catholics, this is not the case. Kakungulu did fight for the British against Muslims and Catholics, but seperated himself from them as well as the anglican church because of the unfavorable treatment of the people of Uganda. He then went on, seperatly from his involvment with the British military, to establish the Jewish faith.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Think 'field recording' and go a step further August 30, 2004
Format:Audio CD
The repertoire is wide, from lullabies and political songs to devotionals and choir arrangements: be prepared for an unusual diversity of theme unified by a strong choral thread throughout.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars extraordinary music and an extraordinary story July 6, 2008
Format:Audio CD
The Abayudaya are a community of around 600 people who live in Eastern Uganada and are practicing Jews. This CD is their music.
The group's Jewish origins are interesting. In the early 20th century, their leader Semei Kakungulu fell out with the local British authorities and the Anglican Church and decided to begin following the precepts of proto-Judaism. From the 1930s until the 1960s, the group had almost no contact with other Jews and suffered abuse and persecution from their fellow Ugandans. Later, under Idi Amin, they had to practice their religion in secret.
In this CD, they sing psalms and hymns, some in their own language, some in the more familiar Hebrew. Included are familiar songs such as L'cha Dodi and Adon Olam. The harmonies are a sweet, melodious and utterly winning blend of Zulu music, traditional Christian hymns and African folk.
It's a lovely collection and it reminds us of the power of the message and its ability to reach people in the strangest of circumstances.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eerie March 14, 2006
By Michael
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Strange to hear familiar religious chants sung by African voices in beautiful melodies. Highly recommended
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soothes my crying baby in seconds August 3, 2008
By Bethini
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have a six month old son and discovered that when he was in all-out melt down mode, playing this cd calmed him instantly. When I say instantly, I mean within 10 seconds or less. And, it also puts me in a peaceful mood too. It's a must for all new moms - a great shower gift.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD was just nominated for a Grammy! December 9, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I know the producer of this album, and just received word that it was nominated for a Grammy Award in the World Music Category! I have listened to several tracks and it is gorgeous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visceral, genuine, transcendent February 3, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Don't expect broadway- it aint. If you have memories of singing around a campfire and memories of feeling in tune with your spiritual community you will appreciate this album. Very Jewish. Very African. Very nice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Culturally interesting
Haven't heard it myself. I gave as gift to young college girl who was going to Uguanda on mission of mercy with a Christian group. She found it interesting and fun.
Published 2 months ago by Marijane C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Rabbi Aminadav Hinton
This CD came and was in good working order, and expressing my Afrocentric Tribal Ancestry through Shabbat and Jewish ancestral songs. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rabbi Aminadav Hinton
5.0 out of 5 stars Abayudaya: Music From Jewish People of Uganda
A Rabbi friend stationed in Africa as a chaplain, met this performer and shared his music with our synagogue. Read more
Published on January 18, 2012 by Liz in New Britain, PA
5.0 out of 5 stars Abayudaya Music
The music of Abayudaya, Jewish People of Uganda filled me with peace. The
sounds of the singing, songs that I am familiar with but to a different tune,
has lifted my... Read more
Published on October 26, 2011 by Liz
5.0 out of 5 stars Broadening your horizons
The acapella music was excellent. I especially enjoyed the version of Lecha Dodi, which is song during the Kaballat Shabbat service on Friday nights. Read more
Published on September 1, 2011 by Rashi
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent jewish music
This is what i was looking for, a diferent way to comunicate the same thing....Tehilim , tefilah, , etc. from the same neshama (soul) on a diferent lenguage and diferent people.
Published on July 29, 2010 by Gustavo Smierc
5.0 out of 5 stars Cd of music of Jews of Uganda
I love this CD! It can be calming, or can make me tap rhymically on my steering wheel as I drive.

who knew there were Jewish people in Uganda? It's great music.
Published on January 13, 2009 by Happy reader Hirschkatz
4.0 out of 5 stars Tim mcdougal--Do it your self jew?
I found the the Cd to be great authentic music of the Jewish people of Ugandan. Although many of the Ugandan jews converted to judaism, WHO HASN'T Every one who is jewish has... Read more
Published on December 5, 2004 by Jason Seglin
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