Playing it Close to Home
Feb. 23-24, 7:30 p.m.
Studio Z: 275 East Fourth Street, Suite 200, St. Paul
April 4, 7:30 p.m.
Capri Theater: 2027 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis
$15 / $10 students & seniors
With winning songs from our Eric Stokes Song Contest plus music by local composer Davu Seru, our annual Playing it Close to Homeconcert celebrates the wealth of musical creativity found right here in our own backyard. The program includes the world premiere of 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.
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.