Friday, October 3, 2008

Blink Your Eyes :: Sekou Sundiata

A few years ago, I attended a music/poetry/theatre event in Minneapolis with fellow blogger and friend Aimee Ringle. The play was written and performed by Sekou Sundiata, an artist from Ani DiFranco's label Righteous Babes Records. The play was called "The 51st Dream State" and it was a truly amazing experience. Sundiata did most of that "narration," more like spoken word poetry than anything else, accompanied on stage by musicians and dancers. Ringle and I were absolutely enthralled throughout the performance. Afterward, I promptly bought Sundiata's most recent album, Longstoryshort (2000), which was subsequently lost in the shuffle of my nomadism of the past several years. A few weeks ago, I rediscovered the disc and have been listening to it frequently. Then, this morning, I made the extremely sad and belated discovery that Sekou Sundiata, who was not yet 60 years old at the time, passed away quite unexpectedly during the summer of 2007. I wanted to post a piece from his Longstoryshort record, but I could not find the songs on Songza or on Youtube, so I am posting this video of a performance that I was able to find. Anyone who enjoys spoken word poetry, blues, or Ani DiFranco should certainly check out his work. DiFranco has said that Sundiata, who was a professor at NYC's New School University, taught her everything she knows about poetry, so listen real good.

"Blink Your Eyes" by Sekou Sundiata

There are also two pieces on Sundiata's myspace page, Please check them out as well.

You can also go to to find Sekou Sundiata's artist information and a memorial page for him.

Sekou Sundiata ~ 1948-2007

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