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THE SUN RA ARKESTRA @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
August 11, 2018 @ 19:00 - 23:3030€
Space Is The Place!
Performing under the direction of 94-year-old Marshall Allen, the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra are descending on Berlin this Saturday. Known for their totally-out-there performances and cosmic costumes, this is a group of musicians channelling the spirit and energy of legendary jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher Sun Ra.
He 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. “Of all the jazz musicians, Sun Ra was probably the most controversial,” critic Scott Yanow said, due to Sun Ra’s eclectic music and unorthodox lifestyle.
The Sun Ra Arkestra Transform Their Leader’s Otherworldly Vision
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), and used several other names throughout his career, including Le Sony’r Ra and Sonny Lee. Sun Ra denied any connection with his birth name, saying “That’s an imaginary person, never existed …
” From the mid-1950s to when he left the planet in 1993, Sun Ra led “The Arkestra” (a deliberate re-spelling of “orchestra”), an ensemble with an ever-changing lineup and name (it was also called “The Solar Myth Arkestra”, the “Cosmo Discipline Arkestra”, the “Blue Universe Arkestra”, the “Jet Set Omniverse Arkestra”, among many other permutations. Sun Ra asserted that the ever-changing name of his ensemble reflected the ever-changing nature of his music.
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.