Sun Ra Arkestra | SFJAZZ

Sun Ra Arkestra

Sun Ra Arkestra


Sun Ra Arkestra

Saturday, August 5, 7:30pm
at SFJAZZ Center, Miner Auditorium

Sun Ra Arkestra
Afrofuturism Pioneers Series: Sun Ra Arkestra  

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 alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, who has been a fixture of Sun Ra’s bands since 1958. Born Herman Blount, the enigmatic composer and keyboardist known as Sun Ra created an entire universe of expression through his pioneering Afro-futurist concepts in music and philosophy. He integrated 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. One of the most prolific recording artists of all time, he released over a hundred full-length albums and innumerable singles during his career. His Arkestra appeared on Saturday Night Live, and was named Best Big Band in DownBeat’s Critics Poll five times. Since his death in 1993, the Arkestra has continued to record and perform, led first by the late tenor saxophonist John Gilmore, and under the direction of Allen for the last dozen years. Sun Ra claimed to have come from the planet Saturn to bring peace to Earth. His Arkestra continues this mission, needed now more than ever.

Artist Personnel

Marshall Allen alto saxophone, winds
Knoel Scott alto saxophone
James Stewart tenor saxophone
Danny Ray Thompson baritone saxophone, winds
Michael Ray trumpet
Cecil Brooks trumpet
Vincent Chancey French horn
Dave Davis trombone
Francis Middleton guitar
Farid Barron piano
Tyler Mitchell bass
Ronnie Burrage drums
Atakatune percussion
Elson Nascimento percussion
Tara Middleton vocals

Artist Website

"Watching Sun Ra Arkestra is akin to seeing a group of people have a religious experience, with each individual pouring their soul into their music " — The Guardian
"Where many other boundary-pushing contemporaries delighted in leaving all convention behind, the Arkestra never lost its allegiance to the blues " — JazzTimes

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