Saturday, May 22, 2010


SUN RA Sounds, 9 hours in 2 parts / Sun Radio Omniversity @ WKCR

Sun Ra Institute and WKCR-FM NYC present


MONDAY, MAY 22nd at midnight to TUESDAY, MAY 23rd, 8:20 AM
89.9 FM NYC & WWW.WKCR.ORG streaming live across the galaxies

The Sun Ra Institute and WKCR-FM are proud to announce the Sun Ra Arrival Day Celebration, a 32-hour radio marathon featuring work of the innovative and iconoclastic composer, bandleader, and keyboardist Sun Ra. Each segment of the festival will focus on a specific feature of Ra’s musical legacy: Standards and Ballads, The Swing Tradition, Solo Piano and Poetry, Late 1950’s and Early Rarities, Tone Science, Singers, and more. The Arrival Day Celebration will include exclusive
recordings from WKCR’s archives as well as live special guest interviews with Marshall Allen, Director of the Sun Ra Arkestra, and Arkestra members of the past, present and future.

Born Herman Poole Blount in Birmingham, Alabama on May 22, 1914, he was nicknamed Sonny from his youth. He later abandoned his birth name and took on the name and persona of Sun Ra (“Ra” being the name of the ancient Egyptian god of the Sun). He did not consider himself “born”; rather, he “arrived” on the planet, entering via Birmingham.
From the ‘50’s to the ‘90’s Sun Ra led a large ensemble with a fluid lineup under a variety of names: The Solar Myth Arkestra, The Intergalactic Space Research Arkestra, and many others. Sun Ra departed on Memorial Day – May 30, 1993.

Sun Ra's prolific achievements on Planet Earth have been widely acclaimed and recorded in documentaries, books, and a feature film titled "Space is The Place". He founded his record label, El Saturn Records, in the 1950s, and proceeded to unleash nearly 200 fiercely individualistic and extremely diverse albums on an unsuspecting and largely unprepared public. He also recorded for a handful of major labels, and he attained widespread notoriety from his legendary concerts, radio, and television appearances. His interstellar musical, poetic, linguistic, and spiritual explorations are unparalleled in the history of modern music and culture.

With The Arkestra, Sun Ra gave astonishing performances around the world for decades. He was always accompanied by stellar musicians in fantastic costumes, and a joyful atmosphere of mischievous space camaraderie was ever present. His music is most often regarded as 'Jazz', though it spans the full spectrum from Swing to Space, with ballads, show tunes, hard- and post-bop, exoticism, funk, energy
music, and electronic hyperdrive.

May 22nd, 2006 - 89.9 FM NYC & WWW.WKCR.ORG

12-5 AM Sun Ra Potpourri
The broadcast will begin with a variety of great Sun Ra sounds to warm up this event.

5-8 AM Sun Ra Plays Standards and Ballads
The Daybreak Express show will feature Sun Ra's performances of standards, ballads, and show tunes.

8-9:30 AM The Swing Tradition
The Bird Flight slot will be an extension of the previous show, but this time focusing on the compositions of Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, and others. Little known facts:
Fletcher himself once gave up his own piano chair to Sun Ra. Sun Ra wrote charts that Coleman Hawkins had difficulty playing. Monk was impressed, too.

9:30 AM-Noon Solo Piano and Poetry
Our morning Classical show will present Sun Ra's solo piano recordings, including an exclusive performance at WKCR in July 1977.
This segment will also incorporate Sun Ra's extensive poetic works.

Noon-5PM Omniversity: Late 1950's and Early Rarities
Phil Schaap will shine the spotlight on Sun Ra's elemental work from the later 1950's. Following this segment, we will shift into a survey of the very earliest recordings of Sun Ra, arranging for singers and performing as a sideman. Phil will be joined by a panel of scholars and band members, presenting the rarest of Sun Ra sides.

5-8 PM Tone Science
The synthesizer and abstract works of Sun Ra. Tune in for some of the most adventurous recordings of Sun Ra's career. This segment will include both solo synthesizer performances as well as those with an ensemble.

8 PM-1 AM From the Ark
The evening segment is expected to be the highlight of the marathon.
We will play live recordings and interviews, with visits from special guests and a focus on materials from WKCR's own “Arkives”, as well as a collection gathered by The Sun Ra Institute. We will take some time to honor the current living-and-breathing Sun Ra Arkestra, under the masterful direction of Marshall Allen, and celebrate Marshall’s 82nd birthday a few days early. Stay tuned for extra features in the works, including remote broadcast from the Sun Ra House in Philadelphia.

1-2 AM The Singers
This hour will give a closer look at Sun Ra's work with vocalists, including his R&B and Doo-wop efforts.

2-5 AM Overnight Sun Ra
5-8:20 AM Daybreak Sun Ra
Sun Ra will again be the focus of Transfigured Night and Daybreak Express. Here is another chance Travel the Spaceways with Sun Ra and
The Arkestra.
-- info: Joseph Benzola

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