Sun Ra Arkestra
Experimental Sound Studio hosts a premiere presentation of a legendary performance from 2016
Thursday, April 8, 2021
8:00 PM
Sun Ra Arkestra's Marshall Allen
  • Screening

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Program Info

Free / Suggested Donation
All Ages

Donations are requested on a sliding scale and 100% of all proceeds go directly to the musicians or to their designated fund.

Presented by

Presented in collaboration with The Quarantine Concerts, an inspired live-stream series hosted by Chicago’s Experimental Sound Studio.

  • Experimental Sound Studio

Please join Ars Nova Workshop, in collaboration with Experimental Sound Studio’s Quarantine Concerts, for this one-night-only premiere presentation of a legendary Sun Ra Arkestra performance. Taped on Halloween 2016, live from Philadelphia’s Johnny Brenda’s in glorious black and white, the Arkestra reminds us why they’re one of the greatest big bands in history.

Concert film produced by Christopher Andrew Studios.


Though the iconic Sun Ra left the planet in 1993, his cosmic legacy is proudly maintained by the interstellar sounds of the Sun Ra Arkestra, which operates under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, who celebrates his 97th Arrival Day (or birthday, for the more Earthbound among you) in 2021.

With a massive, joyous songbook and the kind of well-organized chaos that sees their legendary two-hour sets move deftly between rolling grooves, sing-along chants, and atonal blasts of mischievous brass, the Arkestra remain one of the most unmissable live acts today. In 2018, the 83rd Downbeat Readers Poll saw the Arkestra ranked eighth in the “Big Band” category. In the last few years alone, the Arkestra has backed Solange and U2, inspired Lady Gaga to include “Rocket Number Nine” as part of her stage show, and welcomed artists like Kamasi Washington and Shabaka Hutchings to join in the fun, opening up the ears of new music audiences globally to a challenging and uniquely defined sound.

Cover: Sun Ra Arkestra's Marshall Allen / Photo by Ryan Collerd