Sun Ra Arkestra

  • Saturday | 10.12.11
  • 8.30pm
  • Band on the Wall, Manchester
  • £22 on the ...

The one and only, legendary Sun Ra Arkestra live at Band on the Wall. Considered one of most important and pioneering jazz ensembles of all time, and one of the most colourful and influential bands to emerge from the alchemy of 1950s and 60s free thinking music, Band on the Wall is delighted to welcome them, in all their sonic finery, to its Manchester stage. Advance booking strongly advised.

The legend of the Sun Ra Arkestra….

Cosmic jazz composer, keyboardist, bandleader and philosopher Sun Ra was one of the most important figure in 60’s avante garde jazz along with artists such as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, and Albert Ayler. Claiming that he was of the “Angel Race” and not from Earth, but from Saturn, Sun Ra developed a complex persona of “cosmic” philosophies and lyrical poetry that made him a pioneer of Afrofuturism as he preached awareness and peace above all.  He abandoned his birth name and took on the name and persona of Sun Ra (Ra being the ancient Egyptian god of the sun.

From the mid-1950s to when he left the planet in 1993, Sun Ra led “The Arkestra”, an ensemble with an ever-changing lineup. Sun Ra’s music ranged from keyboard solos to big bands of over 30 musicians. His music touched on virtually the entire history of jazz, from ragtime to swing music, from bebop to free jazz.  He was also a pioneer of electronic music, space music, and free improvisation, and was one of the first musicians, regardless of genre, to make extensive use of electronic keyboards.

After Sun Ra left the planet, the Arkestra was led by tenor saxophonist John Gilmore. Following Gilmore’s death in 1995, the group has performed under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, who celebrated his 86th birthday (or Arkestrally “Arrival Day”) on stage during a Sun Ra Arkestra performances at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia on May 25, 2010.  Marshall Allen has now given 52 years of uninterrupted dedicated service to the Sun Ra Arkestra.  He continues to move the Arkestra forward as a spirit band, maintaining the discipline centered on the study, research, and further development of Sun Ra’s precepts. Along with leading the Arkestra, Marshall plays the alto saxophone, flute, clarinet, oboe, kora, and EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument).  He is internationally recognized as the premier avant-garde saxophonist on the planet.

A Band on the Wall Fundraiser Event

This event will begin at 9pm but our Picturehouse Cafe Bar is open from 5.30pm for delicious food and drinks. 

Special Offer! Book your meal in advance and get free ‘lucky dip’ tickets for a future concert – click here now for details