David Alan Blair “Blair”, age 43, born Sept. 19, 1967, passed away Saturday, July 23. David grew up in Newton, N.J., but came to call Detroit his adopted home. He is the son of Hildegard Blair and Herbert Blair.
Blair was an award-winning, multi-faceted artist: poet, singer-songwriter, writer, performer, musician, community activist and teacher. In the words of Metro Times journalist Melissa Giannini, “Blair focused his work on the hope that rises from the ashes of despair.”
A 2010 Callaloo Fellow and a National Poetry Slam Champion, his first book of poetry, Moonwalking, was recently released by Penmanship Books. Blair, as a solo artist, and with The Urban Folk Collective, self-released more than seven records in the last ten years. His most recent album, The Line, with his band The Boyfriends, was released in 2010 on Repeatable Silence Records.
Throughout his life, Blair performed at venues, large and small, across the nation and around the world. He was nominated for seven Detroit Music Awards, including a 2007 nod for Outstanding Acoustic Artist. He was named Real Detroit Weekly Readers Poll’s Best Solo Artist and The Metro Times Best Urban Folk Poet. In 2007, he won the Seattle-based BENT Writing Institute Mentor Award.
As well as being the recipient of numerous awards, he taught classes and lectured on poetry and music in Detroit Public Schools, The Ruth Ellis Center, Hannan House Senior Center, the YMCA of Detroit, and at various universities, colleges and high schools across the country.
Blair has friends and fans on almost every continent. He will be greatly missed by the loved ones he left all too early. He is preceded in death by his father, Herbert Blair. He is survived by his mother, Hildegard (Smith), siblings Herbert Blair (who resides in Pennsylvania), Tony Blair (New Jersey), Walter Blair (Florida), Joy Blair Swinson (New Hampshire) and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. (Photo by Michelle Matiyow)
To order 2009’s The Line, please visit Repeatable Silence Records.
Professional photographs can be ordered via David Lewinski
VIDEOS (more videos here)