All of us at Tennessee Performing Arts Center are deeply saddened by the death of Dr. Paul T. Kwami, the Musical Director for the Fisk Jubilee Singers®. His passing is a profound loss for the students he served, for Fisk University, and for all of Nashville to which his great work, creativity, and passion has meant so much.

It is our privilege and honor to have partnered with Dr. Kwami for more than 14 years in presenting the artistry of the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers to thousands of students in Middle Tennessee and beyond.

In our last project together, producing the performance film Walk Together Children: The 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Dr. Kwami’s care for the ensemble and committed stewardship of its storied legacy is evident. Looking to the future, he understood the importance of creating contemporary links to the choral group’s rich history so young people could carry it forward.

Dr. Kwami always said there is wonder, joy, and gratitude to be found in everything, and he challenged us to look more closely when we didn’t see it at first. Even in our grief, we celebrate the wonder of his substantial work to share the Fisk Jubilee Singers with Nashville and the world; remember the joy we shared in finishing our film the same day the ensemble was also honored with a Grammy® Award; and are heartened by the gratitude we feel for witnessing how his poise, his vision, and his music touched so many lives over the years.