Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hapi earth day Sun Ra, Space is the Place


Entering a deep meditative state in 1937, Sun Ra had an out of body experience in which he traveled to another planet and was given a divine message conveyed through his music. With the Formation of his "Arkestra" in the 1960s he would perform to great acclaim though his sound was beyond category.  On the date of his birth Jazz on the Tube honors the far out contributions of Sun Ra. 

 Marvin X and Sun Ra,  his mentor and associate at X's Black Educational Theatre, San Francisco, 1972. Gemini Twins! Marvin X is May 29, 1944. Yes, two crazy motherfuckas! Or is it twenty? Marvin says he travels with ten people at all times. How many did Sun Ra travel with, aside from his Arkestra? "Stop teaching' yo actors freedom, Marvin, don't you see how wild and free they act--teach them discipline."

Black Mass is Baraka's  interpretation of the Muslim myth of Yacub, the big headed scientist who genetically engineered the white man. Sun Ra arranged the music. Sun Ra also arranged the music to Marvin X's play Flowers for the Trashman, renamed as the musical Take Care of Business. It was performed at Marvin's Black Educational Theatre in San Francisco's Fillmore, while both Sun Ra and Marvin X were lecturing in the Black Studies Department at University of California, Berkeley. Take Care of Business was performed at San Francisco's Harding Theatre on Divisadero St. It was a five hour concert without intermission, with a cast of fifty, including Sun Ra's Arkestra, Marvin's actors and the dancers of choreographers Raymond Sawyer and Ellendar Barnes, a BAM dancer/actress.

Part Two: 30 Years of Teaching and Writing: The Public Career of Marvin X
by James G. Spady, Philadelphia New Observer,1997 

copyright (c) 1997 by James G. Spady

....Craft is essential to Marvin X's poetry and drama. He knows the possibilities and constraints of the form. And he also knows how to expand. He credits Sun Ra with having helped him to realize the full possibilities of theatre. Marvin read his poetry in San Ra's grand musical energy field and he closely observed Sonny's skillful exploration of our Omniverse and all of its real possibilities. Was int not Sun Ra who told Marvin X that he would be teaching at U.C. Berkeley before it happened?

Marvin X and Sun Ra, both Gemini. Sun Ra was Marvin's mentor and artistic associate.
They performed together from coast to coast. This  pic is outside Marvin's Black Educational Theatre in San Francisco's Fillmore, 1972. Sun Ra wrote the music
for Marvin's play Take Care of Business,
the musical version of Flowers for the Trashman. 

 Francisco Mora Catlett, also mentored and performed with Sun Ra. Marvin X and the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir & Arkestra plan to connect with Francisco's Afro Horn band when we hit New York City! Get ready Francisco! Henry Grimes, Craig Harris, and all you other BAM poets and musicians. Let's do the damn thang!

Album cover for Francisco Mora Catlett's Afro Horn. Art by David Mora Catlett

Art by David Mora Catlett for his brother's album Afro Horn

 Negro es bello (black is beautiful), art by Elizabeth Catlett Mora. Ancestor Betty was
a comrade of the Black Arts Movement and Black Liberation, which are one.

 Earl Davis, a Sun Ra Arkestra member; also a member of Marvin X's Black Arts West Theatre, San Francisco, 1966; Earl is with the Black Arts Movement 27 City Tour

 Hip Hop: The New World Order, a film by Muhammida El Muhajir

 Muhammida El Muhajir, Black Arts Movement baby 2.0

 Marvin X in Harlem, New York, 1968, met Sun Ra and worked with Sonny coast to coast

 Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X inspired the Black Arts Movemt, including Sun Ra who came out of Chicago.
 Money won't save you, but time will take you out!--James Brown

Jah Amiel, grandson of Marvin X, a black arts movement baby 3.0

 Dr. Julia Hare, the female Malcolm X. "When Marvin X calls you to do something, you just do it. It's like a call from da Lawd. When Marvin says jump, you ask how high?"

Sun Ra's poetry appears in Black Fire

On the date of his birth Jazz on the Tube
honors the far-out contributions of Sun Ra.


- Lester Perkins
Jazz on the Tube

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