The being known as Sun Ra was most certainly Jazz's most interesting personality. According to his story, Sun Ra was not born and did not die on earth...instead, he "arrived" and "deparated."
While the tall tales of Sun Ra's carefully constructed character are amusing, the actual, proven events of his life are fascinating - as is the music he left behind.
Born in Birmingham, AL - Sun Ra was an accomplished pianist at a young age. As he matured, he went on to play almost every style of Jazz; from ragtime to swing, be-bop, hard-bop, and of course, avant-garde or "free" Jazz. While most identify Sun Ra as a free jazz artist, pigeon-holing him into this one sub-genre would be doing the gifted band-leader, composer, arranger, poet and mult-instrumentalist a true dis-service.
He spent time making music in three distinct metropolitan areas: Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia - and each of those citys had an influence on his music. Working with musicians like Pharoah Sanders, John Gilmore, Don Cherry and many, many more - he made memorable contributions to the Jazz universe. We'll listen to those contributions all week long in our artist spotlight!See Past Artist Spotlights