Welcome to Philadelphia Jazz Project
Dec 21, 2016
Happy Winter Solstice!!! If you're not aware, the winter solstice, for the Northern Hemisphere is the shortest day of the calendar year. Shortest day because it is the shortest period of sunlight, with the longest period of darkness. Which also gives us the longest night.
Human beings have tracked the sun’s path across the sky for eons. Humanity's ancestors built monuments such as Stonehenge in England – or, for example, at Machu Picchu in Peru – to follow the sun’s yearly progress. Science teaches us that the solstice is not a mystical or magical thing, but an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis, and its motion in orbit around the sun.
And what an appropriate time to release, our 6th Sun Ra mixtape.
In the fall of 2014, Philadelphia Jazz Project [PJP] developed a unique challenge for DJs, producers, electronic musicians, turntablists, singers, poets, and/or rappers, as well as solos by instrumentalists to honor the immeasurable imaginative genius of the late Philadelphia, visionary musician, philosopher, composer and band leader, Sun Ra [1914 to 1993].
We now present, PJP Mixtape Series - Sun Ra Edition Vol 6, featuring music by Steve Gokh, Sonni Dey, Terry Lawson, Alan Nelson, David Middleton, Tara Middleton, Saudah Al Akbar, Bethlehem, Jaye Sanders, Paul Giess, V. Shayne Frederick, Dan Hanrahan, Sonny Sunkett and others.
Sun Ra passed away in 1993, yet his influence and the audience for his work, as well as the work of the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen, continue to grow. Sun Ra was a prolific composer and arranger, as well as a commanding bandleader, who managed to keep a big band and a record company together for decades. He utilized sophisticated, costuming, theatrics and cinematic techniques in his performances, 20 years before they became commonplace in popular music.
Sun Ra also pioneered the use of synthesizers and electronic instruments long before they became fashionable. His musical palette was broad enough to include the swing of Fletcher Henderson, to the minimalism of Post-WWII avant-garde composers, like John Cage. If you think Sun Ra was all about bright lights and pretty colors, you are in for a wild ride. Just listening to any of his compositions is a unique experience and examining his catalogue is an invaluable, “one of a kind “musical education. This mixtape series is an attempt to celebrate that enduring influence and to illuminate the continuing impact of those creative ideas.
PJP's Sun Ra Mixtape Series features some of the most progressive and visionary artists in the region.
Participating artists include;
▪ Vocalist - Tara Middleton
▪ Dancer/Rapper - Raphael Xavier
▪ Vocalist - Jakeya Sanders
▪ Trumpeter - Paul Giess
▪ Vocalist - Saudah Al Akbar
▪ Vocalist - Bethlehem
▪ Drummer - Alan Nelson
▪ Saxophonist - Steve Gokh
▪ Bassist - Sonny Sunkett
▪ Drummer - Kim Pedro Rodriguez
▪ and many others
To download this mixtape and/or learn more about this series, CLICK HERE.
Special Thanks: The Sun Ra Estate, Irwin Chusid, Michael Anderson, J. Michael Harrison, James Solomon, Nija Walker, Bobby Zankel, Jay Levin, Agent Zero, Eric Bogacz, Alex Santilli, Gary Dann, Anthony Tidd, Dmani Lopez, Asha Jackson, Julia Lopez, Melissa Talley Palmer, Gail Fountaine, Stephanie Seiple and Rich Nichols.
For more information about Sun Ra:
▪ Sun Ra Estate Website
▪ Sun Ra Arkestra Website
▪ Sun Ra Facebook
▪ Mission Creep Sun Ra Resources
▪ Pitchfork's Essential Sun Ra Music
▪ The Sun Ra Music Archive
▪ Perfect Sound Forever Sun Ra Article
▪ University of Chicago Sun Ra Exhibit
Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the CultureWorks | Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Wyncote Foundation