Sun Ra Arkestra

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Late great legend Sun Ra (aka Herman Blount) was known for defying convention, incorporating every bold advancement of jazz’s illustrious history into the span of a few brief seconds. Since his passing, his backing band The Sun Ra Arkestra has carried on in his intrepid spirit to bring the most daring musicianship to fans around the world. These top-notch instrumentalists redefine the boundaries of melody and harmony at every moment, and ticket buyers will be on the edge of their seats waiting to hear each surprising twist and turn. Whether you groove to a daring drum solo or swing to a sonorous sax, no jazz aficionado’s or musical student’s tutelage is complete until they witness the impressive skills of The Sun Ra Arkestra in person.


Herman Blount was born in Birmingham, AL in 1914, and became a skilled pianist by age 12. Following a professed trip to Saturn, he changed his name to Sun Ra in 1952. By 1957 Sun Ra and his Arkestra made their recorded debut with the album Jazz by Sun Ra. At the dawn of the ‘60s the group relocated to New York City and began wearing Egyptian headdresses and other sci-fi inspired clothing as part of the nascent afrofuturism movement. Their distinctive style and early use of World percussion instruments helped attract a cult following for the pioneering Arkestra. The band moved again to Philadelphia in 1968, remaining there until Sun Ra's death in 1993. During their quarter century there, Ra worked with some to the most pivotal musicians of the free jazz movement, including John Gilmore, Marshal Allen, and June Tyson. Following Ra’s death, Gilmore led the Arkestra until his own passing in 1995, at which point Allen took over. To this day, the Sun Ra Arkestra remains fearlessly creative and daringly bold as they share their founder’s message of love and music with audiences around the world.