Cosmic jazz composer, keyboardist, bandleader and philosopher Sun Ra was one of the most important figures 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. 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 ofelectronic 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 internationally critically acclaimed alto saxophonist Marshall Allen. 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 spiritual 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 recognised as the premier avant-garde saxophonist on the planet.
This show has been rescheduled from December 9th and is an exclusive Northern England concert.