Sun Ra was one of the greatest and least known jazz artists of the last four decades. Composer, bandleader, pianist, poet and Afro-Futurist philosopher, he founded his Arkestra to take jazz into unexplored territories – his style drawing simultaneously on black vaudeville, modern dance, Egyptian cosmology, Eastern philosophy, surrealism, kitsch, and the Bible.
Sun Ra died in 1993 and would have turned 100 in 2014. 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.
Join them for this special celebration of Sun Ra’s 100th birthday, with an extended line up and immersed in a new full-blown psychedelic vision designed by the Liquid Light Orchestra, who accompanied the Arkestra on their Barbican debut in 2012 as part of our Transcender series.
John Sinclair – Detroit poet, 60s countercultural-ist, manager of the rock group The MC5, life-long marijuana advocate – will open the evening with the world premiere pairing of his rhythmic rhetoric with Treader label's UK jazz kaboom, The Founder Effect featuring Messrs Coxon, Noble, Thomas & Wilkinson.
ClubStage, 5-11pm Moving Light Art installation
‘One of the most disciplined yet free thinking collectives of 20th century music’ The Quietus
'A ray of warming jazz sunshine' 9/10 The Line of Best Fit on John Sinclair's Mohawk