REVIEW: Sing for Joy: Abayudaya Jews – Uganda


Sing for Joy: Abayudaya Jews – Uganda
Gershom Sizomu
San Francisco, CA, Be’chol Lashon, 2007

Since the larger Jewish world has become more aware of the Abayudayan Jewish community in Uganda, there have been a number of very popular a capella recordings of their music. Noting the success of local Christian missionaries, this community began to include instrumental accompaniment in their liturgical music and Sing for Joy showcases the results. The songs are all taken from the traditional liturgy, mostly from the Psalms, sung in Hebrew, Luganda, or both, with one song in English. Like much African popular music, the accompaniment is deceptively simple on the surface with a great deal of hidden complexity. The music is joyful and driving. It will get you out of bed and doing your chores and the melodies will stick in your head all day. There is no doubt that this music will be integrated into the musical traditions of the global Jewish community in no time.

Proceeds from this album go directly to the Abayudaya as well as surrounding multi-faith communities. Recommended for all libraries with Jewish and/or African music collections.

Daniel Scheide, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

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