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In Our Blood

Photo by William Murray, Courtesy Tomás Doncker

This exclusive feature is a part of the OA's Country Roots: Web Edition, an online extension of our annual music issue. Order the Country Roots Music Issue and companion CD here

This debut music video from musician Tomás Doncker and poet Yusef Komunyakaa, and in collaboration with visual artist Floyd D. Tunson, is intended as a face-to-face project where the artists and their respective disciplines converge.  As Doncker tells Larry Kay in our print issue: "We mine the common ground which all of this music came from... and try to write new chapters that read like old texts."

Of this video, Doncker says: "In Our Blood is a mediation on the predisposed limitations imposed on the black man's purpose and existence in American society. It's about the metaphorical cages we're placed in with regards to what we're capable of and what we're allowed, what permissions should be given to us to contribute to culture as whole."

The Mercy Suite (20th Anniversary Edition) is available here and on all online music platforms.

Tomás Doncker and Yusef Komunyakaa

Producer, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and indie label CEO Tomás Doncker has collaborated with luminaries such as Bootsy Collins, Patti Smith, Meshell Ndegeocello, Ivan Neville, and Bonnie Raitt and helms his own band, Tomás Doncker & The True Groove All-Stars. His ongoing musical collaborations with Yusef Komunyakaa have yielded four critically acclaimed albums. Their most recent is called Endangered.
Yusef Komunyakaa’s books of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau, Neon Vernacular (for which he received the Pulitzer Prize), Warhorses, The Chameleon Couch, Emperor of Water Clocks, Night Animals, and most recently Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth. His plays, performance art, and libretti have been performed internationally and include Saturnalia, Testimony, and Gilgamesh.