Saturday, July 8, 2017

sun ra arkestra at sf jazz

"Watching Sun Ra Arkestra is akin to seeing a group of people have a religious experience ... pouring their soul into their music"

— The Guardian

Sun Ra Arkestra


The enduring legacy of jazz visionary and legendary eccentric Sun Ra is celebrated by this ensemble made up of Arkestra veterans and a younger generation of exploratory musicians led by saxophonist Marshall Allen – a fixture of Sun Ra’s bands since 1958. Sun Ra created an entire universe of expression, integrating Ellington-influenced big band swing with free jazz, the blues, electronics, and African musical traditions while establishing a singular visual style that combined futuristic concepts with ancient Egyptian iconography. The Arkestra's music is described by The Guardian as "essentially an extended jam session – swings between jazz, honky tonk, soul, ragtime and blues, among a dozen other genres, frequently underlined by sci-fi noise effects". Few bands have influenced the evolution of music across so many genres than Sun Ra's Arkestra.



WATCH: Sun Ra Arkestra's live performance

at the 2016 Pitchfork Music Festival

Sun Ra Arkestra perform an untitled improvised song at last year's Pitchfork Music Festival. Pitchfork described Sun Ra Arkestra's live performances "like watching a light show produced by the supernova (the late Sun Ra)". The Chicago-based publication further states, "After all, in the year following the passing of star-children Maurice White and David Bowie, the Arkestra’s sonic happenings might represent a ticket-buyer’s last chance to be a part of the utopian musical “equation” that influenced both the pop world and the counterculture in the 1970s". Watch the cosmic-jazz pioneers perform an excerpt from their highly-praised 2016 performance.

three sun ra disciples, marvin x, david murray, earle davis

SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2015

Marvin X at University of Chicago Conference on Black Arts Movement Master Sun Ra 101st Earthday

Marshall Allen, leader of the Sun Ra Arkestra

 Members of the roundtable discussion on Sun Ra and Afro-futurism: Denenge Akpem, Ytasha Womack, Breanna Champion, Marvin X and David Boykin

Sun Ra musicians Marshall Allen, Danny Thompson and poet Marvin X, BAM associates since 1968

Marvin X and Sun Ra at Marvin's Black Educational Theatre, San Francisco, CA 1972. Sun Ra arranged the musical version of Marvin's Flowers for the Trashman, retitled Take Care of Business. Both also lectured at the University of California, Berkeley in Black Studies, 1971-72.

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