(photo by Lauren Deutsch)
With roots in Chicago that would eventually take his music to the world, the prolificSun Ra regaled the music world with his colorful combination of cosmic philosophy, new jazz sounds and beguiling stagecraft, which included dance and costumes. This musical and cultural impact of Sun Ra’s work has been so profound that the centennial of his birth is an event that will pervade many of the events at this year’s Chicago Jazz Festival.
Chicago Jazz Festival Sun Ra Centennial Events:
Saturday, July 26th PM – Garfield Park Conservatory – As part of theNeighborhood Nights concert series, the legendary former Arkestra member Kelan Phil Cohran will bring his Kelan Zulu Ensemble which is comprised of Oscar Brown Jr.’s daughters, vocalist and dancer Afrika Brownand Maggie Brown, as well as a few of Cohran’s sons–Malik and Tycho Cohran–who comprise part of the renowned Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.
Friday, August 22th, 8 PM – Comfort Station – An outdoor screening of the Sun Ra film, Space is the Place The Comfort Station is located at 2579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, Illinois.
Monday, August 25th and Tuesday, August 26th, 6 PM – Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Chicago Cultural Center – There will be screenings of the Sun Ra Films Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise and Mystery Mr. Ra. On one of the evenings, there will be a discussion with Robert Mugge, director of A Joyful Noise. There will be screenings of both films, on both nights. The Claudia Cassidy Theater is located at 78 E. Washington Ave, Chicago, Illinois.
Thursday, August 28th, 4 PM – Ganz Hall at Roosevelt University – There will be a panel discussion which will include moderator Will Faber with panelists including the famed Sun Ra biographer John Szwed, Arkestra leader Marshall Allen, Chicago jazz writer John Corbett, and trumpet legend and former Arkestra member Art Hoyle. The discussion will be preceded by a rare, short solo set by Marshall Allen. Ganz Hall is located at 430 S. Michigan, 7th fl, Chicago, Illinois.
Sunday, August 31st, 8:30 PM – The Pritzker Pavillion – The Sun RaArkestra, under the direction of Marshall Allen, will be closing out the Chicago Jazz Festival.