Playing it Close to Home
Due to the snow storm on Feb. 24, tickets purchased for that evening will also be honored at the April 4 performance of Dead King Mother at the Capri Theater.
With winning songs from our Eric Stokes Song Contest plus music by local composer Davu Seru, our annual Playing it Close to Home concert celebrates the wealth of musical creativity found right here in our own backyard.
The program includes music by Eric Stokes Song Contest winners Isaac Mayhew, Tetsuya Takeno, and students from Folwell School, plus the world premiere of Davu Seru’s new work Dead King Mother, which tells the story of a near-forgotten event in North Minneapolis and United States civil rights history that has been with Seru since early childhood.
Minneapolis native Davu Seru (b. 1978) is known internationally as a free-jazz drummer and performs regularly in jazz, rock and avant-garde improvised music. He currently works in a trio with French clarinetist Catherine Delaunay and French bassist Guillaume Seguron, the bands Click Song (with Marc Anderson), Merciless Ghost (with George Cartwright and Josh Granowski), and is co-leader with Mankwe Ndosi of The Mother of Masks, an improvising ensemble of poets, storytellers, activists and musicians. His work as a PhD scholar of African and African American literature and culture colors his musical and artistic sensibilities.
Dead King Mother
On April 4th, 1968, upon hearing of the news of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Davu Seru’s great-uncle, Clarence C. Underwood stood before family on Minneapolis’ northside and announced that he was going to kill the first white man that he saw--and he did.
When encountered by the police he raised his hands a remarked, “shoot me, they killed my king.”
The last time Davu saw Clarence was at the funeral of the wife he had left behind once he was committed to prison for murder. Reflecting on his sacrifice during the eulogy, Clarence remarked, “those were different times for our people.”
The story has been with Davu since early childhood, but is near-forgotten in Twin Cities and U.S. history. Dead King Mother, a blues for female vocalist and ensemble, attempts to rewrite this near-forgotten event into North Minneapolis and United States Civil Rights history.
Read more about Dead King Mother and Davu's reflections on the story and his new work on Davu's blog.
Stick around after the performance for a post-concert discussion of "Dead King Mother" led by Minnesota Public Radio arts reporter Marianne Combs.
Guest performers include: Sarah Greer, vocals; Scott Fulz, flute; DeVon Russell Gray, bassoon; Ben Mansavage Klein, tuba; Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Drea Reynolds, Laura Harada, and Elaine Evans.
Tickets can be securely purchased by credit card or through your PayPal account in advance, or by cash, check, or credit card at the door. Tickets purchased online will be held at the door.
Zeitgiest, in partnership with Davu Seru, is a fiscal year 2017 recipient of a Cultural Community Partnership grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.