Works better in Chrome or Firefox browsers. Sun Ra, byname of Le Sony’r Ra, original name Herman Blount,byname Sonny, (born May 22, 1914, Birmingham, Ala., U.S.—died May 30, 1993, Birmingham), American jazz composer and keyboard player who led a free jazz big band known for its innovative instrumentation and the theatricality of … Benjamin Boone: The Poets Are Gathering He led bands for nearly 60 years. Biography After Sun Ra's death in 1993, longtime band member John Gilmore took over duties leading the ghost band in creating music and touring. Through his elaborate concerts, films, and countless recordings, he fused imagery and mythology related to ancient Egypt as well as science fiction, planting the seeds for what would eventually be referred to as Afrofuturism. Sun Ra biography and related resources. PKM: I read your Sun Ra biography [Space Is The Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra] in 1997, when it was first published, and reviewed it for the Advocate newspapers. Sun Ra (May 22, 1914 to May 30, 1993) was an innovative and individual jazz composer, bandleader and piano and synthesizer player, who came to be known as much for preaching his bizarre cosmic philosophy as for his phenomenal musical compositions and performances. His mother named him Herman, after a famous stage magician in Birmingham. Ra is the Egyptian god of the Sun. Sun Ra was one of the great modern visionaries: he not only had a dream, but lived it to the full for over 40 years. He freelanced at a variety of jobs in the Midwest, recording with blues singer Wynonie Harris in 1946 and working as a pianist/arranger with Fletcher Henderson in 1946 and 1947. As he grew in his own vision, Sun Ra went so far as to claim he had come from Saturn. After Gilmore's passing, the torch was passed to Marshall Allen, who still leads it as of this writing. Ra, the Sun God. He was highly regarded for his atonal solos on synthesizer, an instrument that he virtually pioneered in jazz. Releases on Y Records, including the infamous Nuclear War (1982), exposed Sun Ra's work to post-punk/indie audiences. "People say I'm Herman Blount, but I don't know him," Mark Jacobson quoted in Esquire. At birth, he was named Herman Poole Blount.Ra changed his name severally before sticking to Sun Ra. Corrections? He died on May 30, 1993 in Birmingham. Born Herman Sonny Blount in Birmingham, Alabama (although he claimed he was from Saturn), Ra led his own band for the first time in 1934. While Ra's music, mythology, and appearance went over the heads of many listeners and audience members, he was praised by jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. This website uses javascript to show most of the elements. Jazz keyboardist, bandleader and composer Sun Ra recorded dozens of singles and over one hundred full-length albums, comprising well over 1000 songs, and making him one of the … The Sun Ra discography is one of the largest discographies in music history. Benjamin Boone: The Poets Are Gathering He was also the predominant creator god in ancient Egyptian religion. Over thousands of years the name Amun-Re evolved into Amun-Ra and then just to Ra. Ra's surrealist sci-fi epic Space Is the Place, preceded by an unrelated album of the same title, was released in 1974, subsequently becoming a major cult classic film. Discipline No. He was so … Gilmore led the Arkestra on dates when Ra was too ill to perform. Ra has been well served by Evidence's extensive repackaging of many of his Saturn dates, which have at last been outfitted with correct dates and personnel details. Sun Ra Biography by Scott Yanow + Follow Artist. 1. Gilmore was raised in Chicago and played clarinet from the age of 14. During the 1960s, the Arkestra released landmark albums such as The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. Related Blog Posts. Their concerts alternated free improvisations and mystical group chants with eccentric versions of swing tunes, sounding like a spaced-out Fletcher Henderson orchestra. He showed that, with imagination, commitment and a love of beauty, one can create one’s own future and make the impossible real. Later concerts and recordings by Ra incorporated swing standards and even tunes from Disney movies, but maintained a heavy degree of improvisation, and remained highly unpredictable. Reissue Desires [2014 Expanded Edition] Sun Ra Biography by Scott Yanow + Follow Artist. If you don't see the contents properly, try to activate javascript. With the various incarnations of his inimitable Arkestra, his repertoire ranged from boogie-woogie to … Just click the "Edit page" button at the bottom of the page or learn more in the Biography submission guide. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Ra was thought to be the god of the sun and creation. He was born Herman Blount on May 22, 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama, as discovered by his biographer, John F. Szwed, and published in his 1998 book. Ra was the god of the sun and light, who traveled across the sky every day in a burning boat. Sun Ra’s music became increasingly exotic with the addition of African and Latin-American instruments. The Cosmo Biography of Sun Ra Chris Raschka, author and illustrator Candlewick Press 99 Dover St., Somerville, MA 02144 9780763658069, $15.99, www.amazon.com This period saw the release of The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. The Sun Ra Arkestra is the name most commonly used for the current incarnation of Sun Ra's original band, now led by Marshall Allen. In 1966, the Arkestra had a weekly Monday night gig at Slug's Saloon, a jazz club in the Lower East Side in Manhattan, which greatly increased his fan base among beatniks and music critics. Sun Ra was born in Birmingham, Alabama on the 22nd of May in the year 1914. Amun-Ra’s boat traveled across the sky by … My love of STAR WARS stems from the influence Sun-Ra had on my family. Sun Ra was one of the great modern visionaries: he not only had a dream, but lived it to the full for over 40 years. Sun Ra was born Herman (Sonny) Blount in 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama. Space was the Place when eye was growing up. If you don't see the contents properly, try to activate javascript. As he grew in his own vision, Sun Ra went so far as to claim he had come from Saturn. The Singles, Evidence, 1954-82 Jazz in Silhouette, Evidence, 1958 The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. Ra died in 1993, and Gilmore led the Arkestra until his death in 1995, at which point Allen took over. Through his elaborate concerts, films, and countless recordings, he fused imagery and mythology related to ancient Egypt as well as science fiction, planting the seeds for what would eventually be referred to as Afrofuturism. Be the first to contribute! He was the most powerful and most worshiped of all Egyptian gods. Ra was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1969. Bandleader, composer, arranger, keyboard player, poet, philosopher, and cosmonaut Sun Ra advanced jazz into the space age. Saturn's contribution to jazz, the unpeggably eclectic bandleader advanced the genre into the space age, planting the seeds for Afrofuturism. In 1968, he relocated his group to Philadelphia, and the band undertook their first tour of the West Coast of the United States, exposing their elaborate performances to hippies and Deadheads. Sun Ra & the Year 2000 Myth Science Arkestra Sun Ra Arkestra Sun Ra Omniverse Arkestra Sun Ra Quartet. Sun Ra, Paul Bley Allen is best known for his work with Sun Ra , having recorded and performed mostly in this context since the late 1950s, and having led Sun Ra's Arkestra since 1993. Ra became a fixture of Philadelphia radio stations and regularly gave lectures. Many of Ra's most important sidemen were with him on and off for decades (most notably John Gilmore on tenor, altoist Marshall Allen, and baritonist Pat Patrick). This website uses javascript to show most of the elements. Born on 22nd May 1914 as Herman Poole Blount, in Birmingham, Alabama, he was nicknamed "Sonny" from his youth. Read Full Biography. The name Re was from Upper Egypt and the name Amun came from Lower Egypt. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Ra is also closely associated with the Tree of Life myth, the Ben-Ben Stone and the Bennu Bird myths. American free-jazz composer, pianist and band leader. 1 (1965) and Atlantis (1969), groundbreaking in their shifting away from conventional melody and harmony, as well as their usage of synthesizers and electronic keyboards. Critic Jason Ankeny [2] describes Marshall as "one of the most distinctive and original saxophonists of the postwar era." 1 Biography 2 Gods of Egypt (2016) 3 Powers and Abilities 4 Items Among the first and oldest gods, Ra has existed for eternity. He also performed with swing musicians Coleman Hawkins and Stuff Smith in 1948, but really got started around 1953. Ra graduated from Parker High School. The creator of the universe and the giver of life, the sun or Ra represented life, warmth and growth. Jazz by Sun Ra, Vol. Sun Ra was one of the most unusual musicians in the history of jazz, moving from Fletcher Henderson swing to free jazz with ease, sometimes in the same song. Sun Ra Biography (Wikipedia) Le Sony'r Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993), better known as Sun Ra, was an American jazz … Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. During the 1970s and ’80s Sun Ra’s Arkestra made increasing use of earlier compositions of his own and of composers such as Henderson, Duke Ellington, and Thelonious Monk. Sun Ra (May 22, 1914 to May 30, 1993) was an innovative and individual jazz composer, bandleader and piano and synthesizer player, who came to be known as much for preaching his bizarre cosmic philosophy as for his phenomenal musical compositions and performances. He died on May 30, 1993 in Birmingham. Sun Ra & the Year 2000 Myth Science Arkestra, The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. A documentary film, Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise, directed by Robert Muge, was released in 1980. However, I didn't really understand the plot of the story very well. On October 20, 1952 he legally changed his name into Le Sony'r Ra. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama. Saturn's contribution to jazz, the unpeggably eclectic bandleader advanced the genre into the space age, planting the seeds for Afrofuturism. Since 1954, Marshall Allen has been the ferocious core of the Arkestra. For the Record …. Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, legal name Le Sony'r Ra; May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993) was a prolific jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his "cosmic philosophy," musical compositions and performances. Herman Blount (1914-1993), who later became known as Sun Ra, was a Birmingham native and visionary musician whose jazz styling and personal mythology left a lasting impression on modern music. Omissions? It was responsible for life, light, and warmth. His mystic nature started from his naming. Amun Ra simply means: Hidden Light (Amun = Hidden/ Ra = Light) Recent research findings show us that Amun (Amen or Amon) is a modern god, within the ambits of Egyptian mythology. There were paragraphs on each page. These meanings are interdependent and presume a tradition in which musical works exist as repeatable entities. Periodicals. Leading a big band (which he called the Arkestra) in Chicago, Ra started off playing advanced bop, but early on was open to the influences of other cultures, experimenting with primitive electric keyboards, and playing free long before the avant-garde got established. The 96-year-old saxophonist, who began playing with Sun Ra in the late '50s and continued to lead the Arkestra after its namesake's death, discusses the band's first album in more than 20 years. From Blount, he became Le Sony's Ra, Sonny Blount and stuck to Sun Ra. Saturn's contribution to jazz, the unpeggably eclectic bandleader advanced the genre into the space age, planting the seeds for Afrofuturism. According to John Szwed's biography, Alton Abraham helped him obtain the gig. In 2003, he published a Miles Davis biography, So What: The Life of Miles Davis. He attended the Alabama University, then still an agricultural college. Article: Reclaiming Sun Ra's Legacy (2017) Interview: Irwin Chusid on his Sun Ra work (2014) Rodger Coleman's Complete Sun Ra Sundays (2008–2015) Sun Ra Arkive magazine 2002–2003: issue 1, … While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. As he grew in his own vision, Sun Ra went so far as to claim he had come from Saturn. Presumably due to Sun Ra's own purposeful lack of clarity, little else is known about his early childhood. I found that this book was very long for a picture book. Le Sony'r Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993), better known as Sun Ra, was an American jazz composer, bandleader, piano, synthesizer player, and poet. U.K. label Strut also released a few notable compilations, including In the Orbit of Ra (presented by Allen) and To Those of Earth... and Other Worlds (mixed by Gilles Peterson), as well as a more extensive compendium of his singles. Selected discography. Being from another planet, he was naturally intrigued by everything earthly — especially music, because music is the one thing on Earth most like the stars. He showed that, with imagination, commitment and a love of beauty, one can create one’s own future and make the impossible real. Sun Ra, byname of Le Sony’r Ra, original name Herman Blount ,byname Sonny, (born May 22, 1914, Birmingham, Ala., U.S.—died May 30, 1993, Birmingham), American jazz composer and keyboard player who led a free jazz big band known for its innovative instrumentation and the theatricality of its performances. Ra suffered a stroke in 1990, but he still continued to lead the Arkestra and compose music. Home in internet of the Sun Ra Arkestra ... El Ra Records . The Arkestra, which included dancers, dressed in fantastical costumes inspired by ancient Egyptian attire and the space age, and Sun Ra conducted while wearing flowing robes and futuristic helmets. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sun Ra (1914– 1993) was an innovative jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesiser player, who came to be known as much for his Cosmic Afro-futurist Philosophy as for his phenomenal musical compositions and performances. 1 also appeared on producer Tom Wilson's Transition Records. Jazz keyboardist, bandleader and composer Sun Ra recorded dozens of singles and over one hundred full-length albums, comprising well over 1000 songs, and making him one of the … Jazz keyboardist, bandleader and composer Sun Ra recorded dozens of singles and over one hundred full-length albums, comprising well over 1000 songs, and making him one of the … Jazz musician Sun Ra (1914–1993) always said that he came from Saturn. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Space was the Place when eye was growing up. But Szwed’s biography of Sun Ra is gorgeous, indispensable and a riot to read. Le Sony'r Ra, better known as Sun Ra, was an American jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, and poet known for his experimental music, "cosmic" philosophy, prolific output, and theatrical performances. He was known for his experimental music.For much of his career, Ra led "The Arkestra", an ensemble with an ever-changing name and flexible line-up. Sun Ra and his band performed several genres of music. Home in internet of the Sun Ra Arkestra ... El Ra Records . The two gods were combined into one, Amun-Ra, in the time of the New Kingdom, between the 16th and 11th centuries BCE. I regret not having talked to you then, since I loved the book, but I guess I figured Sun Ra was too beyond the comfort zone of readers to do more than a review of the book. Being from another planet, he was naturally intrigued by everything earthly — especially music, because music is the one thing on Earth most like the stars. Read Full Biography. There were also very bright and attractive illustrations everywhere. Sun Ra was born Herman (Sonny) Blount in 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama. Born May 22, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama, as Herman Poole "Sonny" Blount. From an early age, Sun Ra… Jazz musician Sun Ra (1914–1993) always said that he came from Saturn. Sun Ra was one of the great modern visionaries: he not only had a dream, but lived it to the full for over 40 years. He and his music are featured in the films The Cry of Jazz (1959), Space Is the Place (1971), and Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise (1980). Herman Blount (1914-1993), who later became known as Sun Ra, was a Birmingham native and visionary musician whose jazz styling and personal mythology left a lasting impression on modern music. Albums include Lanquidity, Space Is the Place, and Jazz in Silhouette. Sun Ra, who claimed to have been born on the planet Saturn, grew up in Birmingham, studied piano under noted teacher Fess Wheatley, and attended Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College (now University). Paying no mind to legalities, the Union local identified him as Herman Blount—we figure this was the name that was on the contract. Earthlings themselves confused Sun Ra, the way they sorted themselves by The sun played a very important role in ancient Egyptian life. Sources. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Lanquidity is a studio album by American jazz musician Sun Ra originally released in 1978 by Philly Jazz (with a shiny silver cover) and reissued on HDCD by Evidence Records in 2000 (with a light grey cover). In 2000, Szwed published a study of Sun Ra, Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra. Szwed wrote Doctor Jazz, a booklet about Jelly Roll Morton for the 2005 issue of The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax on Rounder Records. Historians also believe that the famous Sun temple as the capital of Thebes was recorded only during the period of … The Cosmo-biography of Sun Ra is a lengthy picture book for middle schoolers. Because of the life giving qualities of the sun the Egyptians worshiped the sun as a god. Jazz musician. Ra’s glory came to an end during the time when the Roman’s conquered Egypt in 30BC. He was nicknamed "Sonny" from his childhood, had an older sister and half-brother, and was doted upon by his mother and grandmother. After the Arkestra moved to New York about 1960, he became wholly involved with free jazz; he dispensed with composition entirely, creating works by conducting his improvisers. Born: May 22, 1914 Birmingham, Alabama Pianist, Poet, Songwriter, Singer. Ra's music encompassed nearly every style of jazz, with roots in ragtime and swing to bebop and avant-garde jazz. Complete Sun Ra 2017 Biography. Biography. Sun Ra Net Worth is $13 Million Mini Biography. Highlighting Sun Ra’s peculiar claim of origin is a wonderful way to capture the openhearted weirdness of the musically precocious Herman P. Blount… Mr. Raschka’s messy, moody, exuberant watercolors look like Sun Ra’s music transformed into paint—a gloriously cacophonous unity of … Died May 30, 1993, also in Birmingham, Alabama. The Arkestra continued recording and performing, and albums appeared on labels large (Impulse!, Atlantic) and small (Philly Jazz, Sweet Earth Records). In 2010, Norton Records released a series of "Space Poetry" LPs containing Ra's spoken word material. Bandleader, composer, arranger, keyboard player, poet, philosopher, and cosmonaut Sun Ra advanced jazz into the space age. This email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica sounding like spaced-out... Vaudeville stage magician Black Herman, after a famous stage magician in Birmingham,,... 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