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Lowertown Listening Session: Dead King Mother, by Davu Seru

January 30, 2018 @ 6:00 pm


Zeitgeist hosts a preview and discussion of music from 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. ​Dead King Mother will also receive its premiere Feb. 23-24 at Zeitgeist’s Playing it Close to Home event.

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.

Lowertown Listening Sessions invite curious listeners to enjoy adventurous sounds and insightful conversation with the music-makers of our time. Held at Studio Z, Zeitgeist’s performance space in Lowertown St. Paul, this monthly happy hour series brings guest artists from all genres of new music (jazz, classical, world music, folk, and more) for performances and informal discussion in an after-work setting with food and beverages from Lowertown eateries.


January 30, 2018
6:00 pm
Event Category:


MN United States + Google Map