Kamau Seitu passed away Nov. 28, 2009
I just finished speaking to Taiwo Seitu-Kujichagulia about a disturbing email I just received about her father. Funny I just emailed him an invitation to my going away party and now he is gone too. Al Young's poem "Away" comes to mind. Does anyone or anything really go away?
We were discussing this at Andrea Lewis's memorial last week and concluded that everything here has always been here, even if we can't recall it. With this in mind, Kamau is not away, he is still here, able to feast on life without pain and suffering which he was experiencing prior to his transition.
This said, I still miss him.
I'd seen his daughter Taiwo and grandchildren, son-in-laws, brother and friends just last week. In fact I'd planned to go see him after I left the Diamano Coura event this afternoon to talk more about Africa.
I wondered why we weren't having the fundraiser this weekend as planned for alternative therapies for him. Taiwo said the tumor had wrapped itself around her father's intestine and was making it so he couldn't digest food or something, so the surgeons did a bi-pass operation Wednesday and Kamau got sicker with an infection related to the operation soon after, and died yesterday from pneumonia.
I'm like floored right now...and can't rise. My heart hurts. Kamau was my good friend, he was always honest and shared lots of big brother wisdom with me about this walk I am on.
He drummed last October at reception for the Maafa Exhibit for Casper Banjo and Joy Holland at Prescott Joseph. I wish I'd been able to attend the memorial he hosted for Elsie Washington just a month or so ago, but I had to work. He made it past his birthday, but not much past that date, Nov. 14. How old was Kamau, 66-67 this year?
He spoke about a book on Bay Area musicians he was working on that a friend of his was going to collaborate with him and write it. I hope that still happens. Kamau was organized so I'm sure it still can happen. I loved reading the titles in his collection, especially all the Downbeat Magazines he owned...I'm talking collector's issues and the books on drummers...classic as well.
We'd talk about the New Orleans drumming tradition and I have to find my interview with Kamau when I first started my project years ago to transcribe and share with friends.