Wednesday January 3, 2007

Music, Peace and Forgiveness

Genocide survivor Jean Paul Samputu headlines Human Rights Week with music, outreach and lectures on African music and peace.

Through a new visiting artist program, Rwandan musician and genocide survivor Jean Paul Samputu will share award-winning African music and dance as well as his perspective on music, peace and forgiveness during the University of Dayton's Human Rights Week Jan. 28 through Feb. 2.

Co-sponsored by UD's Arts Series and Cityfolk as part of the World Rhythms Series, Samputu and his dance troupe Ingeli will perform at 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 1, in the Boll Theatre in Kennedy Union with traditional African singing, drumming and dancing.

As the first World Rhythms Fellow, Samputu also will speak to UD classes on Rwandan history, religion, peace and music, as well as conduct dance and drumming workshops on campus and at the East End Community Center.

Visiting artists designated as World Rhythms Fellows promote the arts as a way to develop culture and community that extends beyond traditional social and academic borders. The residency is sponsored by UD's ArtStreet, Center for International Programs, Art Series and Cityfolk.

According to Art Series coordinator Eileen Carr, Samputu brings a rich perspective in music as human rights and is an especially appropriate choice as the first World Rhythm Fellow.

Through the loss of his mother, father, sister and three brothers in the 1994 Rwandan genocide that claimed nearly a million lives, Samputu works to educate and raise awareness about genocide and advocates for peace and reconciliation, Carr said.

During Human Rights Week, Samputu will speak to numerous UD classes on topics including African history, religion, justice, peace studies, world music and human rights.

Human Rights Week is a series of events organized by students to draw attention to global issues of social justice.

Samputu and Ingeli also will perform during the Celebration of Arts kick-off of Human Rights Week Sunday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m. at Boll Theatre in Kennedy Union. This performance is free and open to the public.

A highlight of the week will be a daylong Culture Builds Community workshop Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the East End Community Center, 624 Xenia Ave., featuring classroom talks and after-school workshops through a Cityfolk/East End partnership funded by the Kettering Fund.

Winner of the 2003 Kora Award, the "African Grammy," Samputu is internationally known for his mastery of many music styles including soukous, rhumba, vodou, traditional Rwandan 5/8, Afrobeat, pygmy and gospel.

Tickets for the World Rhythms Art Series performance on Feb. 1 are $18 for the general public; $9 for students; and $16 for seniors and UD faculty, staff and alumni. To order tickets, call UD's Box Office at 937-229-2545 or click here. For a complete schedule, see below.

Cityfolk, Dayton's premiere non-profit presenter of traditional arts, and the University of Dayton have been longtime partners in presenting the World Rhythms Series, which hosts of the international music scene's most renowned artists each year.

Contact Eileen Carr at 937- 229-2787 or For more on Jean Paul Samputu and Ingeli, click here. For more information on Cityfolk click here.