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About this clip:
The Sun Ra Arkestra perform Marshall Allen and Ronnie Boykins’ 1960 composition “Angels and Demons at Play” during their performance on July 21 as part of Summer Sessions 2023, broadcast on Fridays Live.
About the concert:
The enduring legacy of jazz visionary Sun Ra is celebrated by this ensemble made up of Arkestra veterans and a younger generation of exploratory musicians under the direction of baritone saxophonist Knoel Scott.
For this performance, the band focuses on the more experimental exploratory music from Sun Ra’s songbook.
Born Herman Blount, the enigmatic composer and keyboardist known as Sun Ra created an entire universe of expression through his pioneering Afro-futurist concepts in music and philosophy. He integrated Ellington-influenced big band swing with free jazz, the blues, electronics, and African musical traditions while establishing a singular visual style that combined futuristic concepts with ancient Egyptian iconography. One of the most prolific recording artists of all time, he released over a hundred full-length albums and innumerable singles during his career. His Arkestra appeared on Saturday Night Live, and was named Best Big Band in DownBeat’s Critics Poll five times.
Since Sun Ra’s death in 1993, the Arkestra has continued to record and perform, under the direction of saxophonist and seven-decade Arkestra veteran Marshall Allen for the last dozen years and now being led by longtime member Scott for performances outside of Philadelphia.
Sun Ra claimed to have come from the planet Saturn to bring peace to Earth. His Arkestra continues this mission, needed now more than ever.
Knoel Scott: baritone saxophone, musical director
Kevin Bachelor: trumpet
Cecil Brooks: trumpet
Dave Davies: trombone
Robert Stringer: trombone
Chris Hemingway: alto saxophone
Anthony Nelson: tenor saxophone
James Stewart: tenor saxophone
Kash Killion: cello
Farid Barron: piano
Tyler Mitchell: bass
George Grey: drums
Elson Nascimento: percussion, surdo
Jorge De Silva: percussion
Tara Middleton: vocals
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