Sun Ra

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Sun Ra
Sun Ra circa 1973
Sun Ra circa 1973
Background information
Birth nameHerman Poole Blount
Also known asLe Sony'r Ra (legal name)
Born(1914-05-22)May 22, 1914
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
DiedMay 30, 1993(1993-05-30) (aged 79)
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
GenresAvant-garde jazz, free jazz, jazz fusion, experimental, bebop, space music[1]
Occupation(s)Bandleader, composer, arranger, artist, poet
InstrumentsPiano, organ, keyboards, Minimoog, celesta, percussion, vocals
Years active1934–1993
LabelsEl Saturn Records, Thoth Intergalactic, Impulse!, MPS, ESP-Disk, Black Saint, A&M, Leo, Rounder

Le Sony'r Ra[2] (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. 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.[3]

From the mid-1950s until his death, Ra led the musical band known as The Arkestra. Its performances often included dancers and musicians dressed in futuristic costumes inspired by Ancient Egyptian.[4]

Ra died of a stroke caused from heart and respiratory failure at a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama on May 30, 1993 at the age of 79.

References[change | change source]

  1. "The light still shines on Sun Ra". LA Times. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  2. Szwed, p. 83.
  3. Barrett, Gena-mour (2018-05-06). "Afrofuturism: Why black science fiction 'can't be ignored'". BBC. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  4. Rogers, Toby (June 20, 2018). "The Last Giant: Marshall Allen Celebrates 94th Birthday". Black Star News. Retrieved August 19, 2018.