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Sun Ra Arkestra
Marshall Allen Birthday Celebration
Ars Nova Workshop presents a very special performance by the Sun Ra Arkestra in celebration of the 89th birthday of Arkestra leader Marshall Allen, and the 99th anniversary of Sun Ra’s arrival on Earth. Also, an opening performance by Mike Reed's People, Places and Things.
Marshall Allen performed with pianist Art Simmons, Don Byas and James Moody before enrolling in the Paris Conservatory of Music. After relocating to Chicago, Allen became a pupil of Sun Ra, subsequently joining the Arkestra in 1958 and leading its formidable reed section. He is featured on over 200 Sun Ra recordings, and has collaborated with Sonic Youth, Digable Planets and Medeski, Martin & Wood. Allen assumed the position of maestro in 1995, following the ascension of Sun Ra and John Gilmore. Marshall continues to be committed to the study, research, and development of Sun Ra's musical precepts and has launched the 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 and arrangement.
Chicagoan Mike Reedhas worked with Roscoe Mitchell, Josh Abrams, Jason Adasiewicz, Jeb Bishop, and Dave Rempis. Also an active concert organizer in Chicago, Reed is the director of the Pitchfork Music Festival, the co-founder of Hungry Brain's Sunday Transmission Series, and involved with both the Umbrella Music Festival and the Chicago Jazz Festival. Among the ensembles he leads is People, Places and Things, whose 2010 LP, Stories and Negotiations, placed on the year-end lists of The New York Times, NPR and Village Voice. Last year, the group released its fourth album, Clean On The Corner.
Ars Nova Workshop is a Philadelphia nonprofit jazz and experimental music presenting organization. As a facilitator between artists and their audiences, Ars Nova Workshop works to inform, inspire and challenge listeners in order to elevate the role of jazz, improvisation and experimental music in contemporary culture.