Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Q & A with Baba Dhati

"It began in 1991, somewhere around 8 o'clock. Master Percussionist Dhati Kennedy presented a group of students to a cheering crowd. Ngoma In Motion was born that day! NIM has evolved into a talented group of musicians, word warriors & drummers."

Photo courtesy of Everette Hughes & Baba Myron Buchanon

Every time I have a conversation with Baba Dhati, I walk away bewildered...mostly because his open, enthusiastic, curious, and otherwordly perspective rocks even my understanding of reality! A Master Percussionist, singer, and communally active independent artist in the St. Louis area, Baba Dhati is working to keep Afrikan culture, tradition, and music alive in the hood, teaching students the art of Afrikan drumming and even providing the public with studio recordings of works by Ngoma In Motion: an arts collective that is ever evolving. Citizens of the Universe, meet Baba Dhati!

BLUE: Where are you from and what hood do you represent?

Baba Dhati: I am from dimension 7. I represent marginalized, little thought of, and oppressed.

B: Tell us a little about your background and journey through the arts. 
BD: I began learning to play drums as a political act. Forty years ago, if you picked up an Afrikan or Latin/Afrikan drum, you were considered to be a pan-Afrikanist, or one of 'dem Black power niggahz'. Since I am one of 'dem niggahz', playing drums came naturally.

B: Many of the folks in your community know you as "Baba Dhati." Whose Baba are you and why you got so many kids?
BD: My first born entered this plain just after my 15th Bday. I been daddy, pops, papi, etc. ever since. Before then I was simply 'Dirty Red'.

Photo courtesy of Everette Hughes & Baba Myron Buchanon
B: You are a spearheading member of the African drumming collective Ngoma In Motion (NIM). How did this collective come to be and who are its key players?
BD: I taught a drum class to a group of youths in 1991. I wanted the students to have a recital to show off what they'd learned. My friend, and Sister Marquita Daniels owned a restaurant. She allowed the students and me to hold a recital there. When we began playing, a large crowd came in, and well the recital became a venue for all artists. It lasted 10 years.

B: What are your core values, personal mission and artistic vision?
BD: My mission is to see Human evolution expedited!

B: How do you define success?
BD: I don't know yet.

B: f you could sit and have a kava kava drink with any historical figure from the past, present, or future, who would it be, why, and what would you ask them?

BD: Ida B. Wells. I'd thank her for fighting lynching and ask her if her motivations were personal.

B: If you could go back in time, what would you tell 25 year old Dhati? 
BD: I'd tell 25 year old Dhati that death is part of life and merely a transition.

B: Ngoma In Motion has been active lately, recording new music, and performing all over the St. Louis area. What is your role in production and what can we look forward to from NIM in the near future?
BD: I feel like I'm doing everything. I'd like to see us help raise Human consciousness on a larger scale through music.

B: Any words for your supporters?
BD: Hang on! Intelligent music is on the way!

B: How can the people contact you or be involved?
BD: or, FB under Dhati M Kennedy. Thank you Blue, I hope I didn't leave anything out.

B: Thanks for visiting Uranus!!!!

Listen to My Head Held High by Ngoma In Motion (NIM)

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