It’s a pleasure to welcome back one of the greatest big bands of all time – The Sun Ra Arkestra.
It is one hundred years ago this year that the legendary Sun Ra arrived on planet Earth. This is celebrated by the Sun Ra Centennial Dream Arkestra.
He stretched out swing orchestrations with screeching organs and synthesizers. He was also inspired by modern dance, Egyptian cosmology, surrealism, raw blues and African rhythms, to name just a few sources. Sun Ra built his own universe, in which jazz, spirituality and an unlimited imagination pushed forward the experiment. In 1993 he left planet Earth, at the age of 79, but his memory lives on in the Sun Ra Arkestra.
The Arkestra performs today led by 90-year young alto saxophonist and long-time Ra collaborator Marshall Allen. The mischievous brass blasts and the grooves keep rolling, as the big band – fully dressed, as usual, in space capes with a hint of Ancient Egypt – takes off once again in a joyous burst of tightly organised madness.
With such a massive, joyous songbook and the kind of well organised chaos that sees their legendary 3 hour sets move deftly between rolling grooves, sing-along chants and atonal blasts of mischievous brass, this promises to be one of the highlights of the summer.