When James Twyman's ex-wife, Linda, was murdered in Chicago about a year ago, he lost his closest partner in his zealous campaign for peace. A dedicated woman who had a quiet way about her, Linda inspired Twyman to promote harmony all over the world through his works--especially music. Twyman had been working for peace for 12 years already, but losing Linda caused him to question the fervor of his work.
"Whenever you experience a great tragedy, it makes you ask yourself the question: Are we doing enough? There are so many ways we can do more."
Before Linda's death, Twyman focused on promoting peace in war zones all over the globe. Deemed the "Peace Troubadour," Twyman was a spiritual being from the start. Early on, Twyman had a strong desire to be a Franciscan friar, yet he also appreciated the ability of certain musicians, such as John Lennon, to make a difference in the world.
In 1994, Twyman had an epiphany that enabled him to combine his desire to spread peace with music.
"In one hour, I had a rush of inspiration and put all of the 12 prayers of the world to music," says Twyman.
With these prayers set to music, Twyman harmonized to people all over the world, including officials with the United Nations, officials with the U.S. Pentagon and former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. It was after Linda's death, however, that Twyman decided to refocus his work.
Twyman turned to the Internet to find inspiration from peaceful leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Some quotes deeply touched him, and he decided to write a new album that reflected the messages of the legendary peacemakers titled God Has No Religion.
The release of his new album inspired him to launch a concert tour to spread the words of King and Gandhi.
"This tour is more about how other peacemakers express that same message that I was expressing before," says Twyman.
The concert tour also celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Season for Nonviolence, sponsored by the Association for Global New Thought. Twyman, part of an organization called the Beloved Community, is partnering up with the Association for Global New Thought to commemorate Gandhi and King.
His concert tour, called "A Season for Nonviolence," began on Jan. 30, the anniversary of the assassination of Gandhi, and runs until April 4, the anniversary of the assassination of King. The tour entails Twyman performing 64 concerts in 64 days--a feat that would leave an ordinary person feeling anything but peaceful. But Twyman, in the midst of his tour, told the Weekly he is not feeling bogged down; he's actually more excited to deliver his message of peace.
"It's been invigorating," Twyman says. "I have more energy right now than I did at the beginning of the tour."
Twyman says he believes that he is truly lucky to be able to spread peace among others and is thankful for his ability to do so: "When I think that all I'm doing is being in front of dedicated people each night and sharing and praying, why wouldn't I want to do that every night?"
Twyman's tour concludes at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and the United Nations in New York City. Twyman says that he has a stronger following of peaceful supporters on the West Coast, but he wants to end his tour with a big bang by taking the East Coast by storm.
James Twyman's Tucson performance of the Season for Nonviolence Tour will take place at 7 p.m., Monday, March 19, at the Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd. Tickets are $15, and the event will feature Twyman's unique music highlighting the peaceful messages of Gandhi and King Jr. Call 319-1042 or visit jamestwyman.com for information.
Twyman says he's excited to visit Tucson to spread his message of peace through music.
"This is the first time that I'm going to be doing a concert or any event in Tucson," Twyman says.
Twyman has hopes that the tour will attract a gathering of all types of people, especially young followers who are dedicated to spreading the significance of peace. He believes that what is most important right now is changing the world--and young people are the most capable of doing so.
"I'm dedicated to inspiring young people to get involved and to start a new world," Twyman says.