Sun Ra

Sun Ra

 

Info

Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, legal name Le Sony'r Ra;[2] May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993) was an American jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his experimental music, "cosmic" philosophy, prolific output, and theatrical performances. For much of his career, Ra led "The Arkestra", an ensemble with an ever-changing name and flexible line-up.

Born and raised in Alabama, Blount eventually became involved in the Chicago jazz scene during the 1940s. He soon abandoned his birth name, taking the name Sun Ra (after Ra, the Egyptian God of the Sun) and developing a complex persona and mythology that would make him a pioneer of Afrofuturism: he claimed he was an alien from Saturn on a mission to preach peace, and throughout his life he consistently denied any ties to his prior identity.[3] His widely eclectic and avant-garde music would eventually touch on virtually the entire history of jazz, ranging from swing music and bebop to free jazz and fusion, and his compositions ranged from keyboard solos to big bands of over 30 musicians. From the mid-1950s until his death, Ra led the musical collective The Arkestra (which featured artists such as Marshall Allen, John Gilmore and June Tyson throughout its various iterations). Its performances often included dancers and musicians dressed in elaborate, futuristic costumes inspired by ancient Egyptian attire and the Space Age.

Though his mainstream success was limited, Sun Ra was a prolific recording artist and frequent live performer, and remained both influential and controversial throughout his life for his music and persona.[4] He is now widely considered an innovator; among his distinctions are his pioneering work in free improvisation and modal jazz and his early use of electronic keyboards and synthesizers.[4][5] Over the course of his career, he recorded dozens of singles and over one hundred full-length albums, comprising well over 1000 songs, and making him one of the most prolific recording artists of the 20th century.[6] Following Sun Ra's death in 1993, the Arkestra continues to perform.

Labels

Highlights12

The Space Age Is Here To Stay
Album
The Space Age Is Here To Stay is an album by musical artist Sun Ra, released on October 1, 2017.
Thunder of the Gods
 
Thunder of the Gods is an album by Sun Ra and His Arkestra featuring unreleased live and studio recordings which was issued in April 2017 on the Modern Harmonic label.
Singles
Album
Singles is an album by musical artist Sun Ra, released on November 25, 2016.
Super-Sonic Jazz
 
Super-Sonic Jazz is an album by Sun Ra, recorded in 1956 at RCA Studios, Chicago.

Photos - Sun Ra153

Popular Albums112

Album Appearances & References24

Popular Songs9

Song Appearances & References3

Popular Live Albums13

Musical Group References2

Soundtrack Film Appearances1

TV Shows1

Book References & Influences3

Collaborators & Influencers12

Awards & Nominations1

Other Music-Related Relationships34

Personal & Professional Relationships6

You May Also Be Interested In29

Videos2

Spotify - Albums & Singles123

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Spotify - Appears On11

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Spotify - Top Tracks10

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

News Articles7

A Guide to the Many Sun Ra Albums Now Available on Bandcamp
  –  October 16, 2017
“Everything that’s possible’s been done by man,” the composer, pianist, and bandleader Sun Ra told interviewer John Corbett in 1986. “I have to deal with the impossible. And when I deal with the impossible and am successful, it makes me feel ...
review: Solange dazzled Radio City w/ Earl Sweatshirt, Sun Ra Arkestra & Chassol
  –  October 3, 2017
First up was French composer Chassol, who performed with a drummer ... and especially impressive to watch his extraordinarily talented drummer. Solange, Earl, Sun Ra Arkestra, and Chassol do it again at Radio City tonight (10/3), and you can still snag ...
A Guide to the Many Sun Ra Albums Now Available on Bandcamp
  –  October 16, 2017
“Everything that’s possible’s been done by man,” the composer, pianist, and bandleader Sun Ra told interviewer John Corbett in 1986. “I have to deal with the impossible. And when I deal with the impossible and am successful, it makes me feel ...
Spiritually Sun Ra: Golden Dawn Arkestra
  –  October 27, 2017
The group’s music is more R&B than jazz, in spite of the band name’s reference to the late avant-garde jazzman Sun Ra. “It is more a visual and spiritual reference,” said leader Topaz McGarrigle (pictured). The music is composed but includes improv ...
A Guide to the Many Sun Ra Albums Now Available on Bandcamp
  –  October 16, 2017
The late Sun Ra enjoyed the paradox of accomplishing the impossible, a feat that extends to his very career path. It’s rare enough for any Black artist having enough time, energy, and money to run a large jazz ensemble for 40-odd years, but Sun Ra did it ...
Spiritually Sun Ra: Golden Dawn Arkestra
  –  October 27, 2017
The group’s music is more R&B than jazz, in spite of the band name’s reference to the late avant-garde jazzman Sun Ra. “It is more a visual and spiritual reference,” said leader Topaz McGarrigle (pictured). The music is composed but includes improv ...
A Guide to the Many Sun Ra Albums Now Available on Bandcamp
  –  October 16, 2017
“He’s not just some crazy guy, and he’s not just some brilliant musician,” says Irwin Chusid, the radio host and music writer who has become administrator of Sun Ra LLC. “He is an institution. He is a cosmic force. He is a genius. He’s one of ...

Affiliated Locations4

 
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