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The Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen
2478 N Fletcher Dr
Los Angeles, CA, 90039
This event is 21 and over
The Sun Ra Arkestra
U.S. free-jazz ensemble that emerged during the mid-'50s. Initially centered around Sun Ra for almost 40 years, the Arkestra went through various incarnations and is still active currently under the leadership of Marshall Allen.
Note: Please use The Sun Ra Arkestra as PAN for only the releases that are a variation of Arkestra.
These few exceptions are not ANVs of the Arkestra and are PANs in their own right: The Sun Ra All Stars, Sun Ra Sextet, Sun Ra Quartet, Sun Ra Trio.
Marshall Allen - alto saxophone, flute, EVI - joined in 1958
Michael Ray - trumpet, vocals - joined in 1978
Fred Adams - trumpet - joined in 1982
Knoel Scott - alto saxophone - joined in 1979
Vincent Chancey - french horn - joined in 1976
Cecil Brooks - trumpet
Danny Ray Thompson - flute, baritone sax, alto sax, bassoon - joined in 1967
Abshalom Ben Shlomo - alto sax, clarinet - joined in 1970
Rey Scott - baritone saxophone - joined in 1988
Dave Davis - trombone - joined in 1997
Elson Nascimento - percussion - joined in 1988
Craig Holiday Haynes - drums - joined in 1980
D. Hotep - guitar - joined in 2000
Yahya Abdul-Majid - tenor saxophone - joined in 1980
Kash Killion - cello - joined in 1989
Bill Davis - bass - joined in 1962
Tyler Mitchell - bass - joined in 1985
Juini Booth - bass - joined in 1967
Farid Abdul-Bari Barron - piano
James Stewart - tenor - joined in 2011
Craig Harris - trombone
Wayne Anthony Smith Jr. - drums
Tara Middleton - voice, percussion, violin
Atakatune (Stanley Morgan) - conga, timbal - joined in 1972
George Burton - piano - joined in 2015
Marshall Belford Allen (born May 25, 1924 in Louisville, Kentucky) alto saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist (flute, clarinet, oboe, kora, and Electronic Valve Instrument), composer, bandleader, and arranger. Best known for his long association with Sun Ra, lasting from the late 1950s until Ra's death, after which Allen has continued to lead the Sun Ra Arkestra.
At 18, Marshall enlisted in the Army's 92nd Infantry (renowned as the Buffalo Soldiers), playing clarinet and alto saxophone in the 17th Division Special Service Band. Stationed in Paris during World War II, he played with pianist Art Simmons and saxophonist Don Byas, and he toured and recorded with James Moody during the late '40's. Upon honorable discharge, Mr. Allen enrolled in the Paris Conservatory of Music, studying clarinet with Delacluse. Returning to the States in 1951, Marshall settled in Chicago, where he led his own bands, playing in clubs and dance halls, while writing his own music and arrangements, as he continues to do today.
During the mid-'50's, Marshall met Sun Ra and became a student of his precepts. After joining the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1958, Marshall Allen led Sun Ra's formidable reed section for over 40 years (a role akin to the position of Johnny Hodges in the Duke Ellington orchestra). He lived, rehearsed, toured and recorded with Sun Ra almost exclusively for much of his musical career, leading the reed section during the time that the Sun Ra Arkestra won the "Downbeat" polls as number-one big band in 1988 and 1989. As a featured soloist with the Arkestra, Marshall pioneered the avante-garde jazz movement of the early '60's, expanding a style rooted in Johnny Hodges and Don Byas, and influencing all leading avante-garde saxophonists thereafter. During this time, Marshall also invented a woodwind instrument he called the "morrow," utilizing a saxophone mouthpiece attached to an open-hole wooden body.
Marshall was one of the first jazz musicians to play traditional African music and what is now called "world music," working frequently with Olatunji and his Drums of Passion. He builds and plays the kora (a popular West African multi-stringed instrument), and he has been a major factor in its introduction to American audiences, as well as the world at large. Marshall is featured on over 200 Sun Ra releases and assumed the helm of the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1995 after the ascension of Sun Ra in 1993 and John Gilmore in 1995. He continues to reside at the Sun Ra Residence in Philadelphia, composing, writing and arranging for the Arkestra much like his mentor, totally committed to a life of discipline centered on the study, research, and further development of Sun Ra's musical precepts.
Marshall maintains the Sun Ra residence as a living museum dedicated to the compilation, restoration and preservation of Sun Ra's music, memorabilia, and artifacts. He has launched the Sun Ra Arkestra into a dimension beyond that of mere "ghost" band by writing fresh arrangements of Sun Ra's music, as well as composing new music for the Arkestra. He works unceasingly to keep the big-band tradition alive, reworking arrangements of the music of Fletcher Henderson and Jimmie Lunceford for the Arkestra to play, along with many other American standards. He is frequently called upon to give master classes, lectures, and demonstrations of Sun Ra's musical precepts, and he Keeps himself accessible to all who have an interest in Sun Ra's legacy.