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Celebrating Sun Ra

Sun Ra Mixtapes #17

ANNOUNCING NEW FREE MIXTAPES TO CELEBRATE SUN RA, CLICK HERE.

 

Arriving on our planet as a child on May 22nd, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama: Ironically referred to as The Magic City, Sun Ra also died there in 1993. Gone from his physical form for 29 years, his influence and the audience for his work, continues to grow. Sun Ra was a prolific composer, arranger and bandleader with a brilliant sense of pagentry and an uncanny knack for reshaping language by creatively playing with words and their meanings.

 

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Sun Ra utilized sophisticated costuming, theatrics and cinematic techniques in his performances, 20 years before they became commonplace in popular music. He 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 systems 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.

 

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Since 2014, the Philadelphia Jazz Project has been engaged in developing a special mixtape series honoring Sun Ra's the immeasurable genius. Between 2015 and 2021, twelve of these mixtapes were recorded and released containing over 60 compositions featuring over 100 different artists. Seeking to showcase these recordings on the stage, we collaborated with WRTI radio host, J. Michael Harrison and presented Satellites Are Spinning: A Sizzling, Sonic Celebration of Sun Ra. This eight part concert series was presented at The Barnes Foundation, Ardmore Music Hall, Johnny Brenda's, the Planetarium of the Franklin Institute and World Cafe Live.

 

TO DOWNLOAD OR LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MIXTAPE SERIES, CLICK HERE.

 

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It has been a remarkable journey that has opened us up to new possibilities, new relationships, new collaborations and most important, new music. PJP's Sun Ra Mixtape Series and the Satellites concerts have featured an aggregation of local, regional, national and even, international artists. They represent the visual and media arts, poetry and theater, as well as various musical genres. What brings them all together is an admiration for the work and legacy of Sun Ra.

 

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Today, celebrating Sun Ra, we add a new batch of recordings to the Sun Ra Mixtape Series collection. We share five new mixtapes featuring music by Twin Cities-based multi-instrumentalist Douglas Ewart, NY-based trumpeter Volker Goetze, Philly drummer and Sun Ra Arkestra member - Wayne Smith Jr., Berlin-based vocalist & multi-instrumentalist King Khan, Philly vocalist Saudah Al Akbar, Washington DC-based sound maker, Bushmeat, Texas-based vocalist Alexa Gold, author/ educator John Szwed and many others

 

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In the fall of 2014, Philadelphia Jazz Project began the development of a special mixtape project honoring Sun Ra's the immeasurable genius. Between 2015 and 2017, seven mixtapes were recorded and released containing over 50 compositions featuring over 100 different artists. Seeking to showcase these recordings on the stage, we collaborated with WRTI radio host, J. Michael Harrison and presented Satellites Are Spinning: A Sizzling, Sonic Celebration of Sun Ra. This eight part concert series was presented at The Barnes Foundation, Ardmore Music Hall, Johnny Brenda's, the Planetarium of the Franklin Institute and World Cafe Live.

 

TO DOWNLOAD OR LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MIXTAPE SERIES, CLICK HERE.

 

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PJP's Sun Ra Mixtape Series and the Satellites concerts have featured an aggregation of local, regional, national and even, international artists. They represent the visual and media arts, poetry and theater, dance and movement, as well as various musical genres. What brings them all together is an admiration for the work and legacy of Sun Ra.

 

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Today, celebrating Sun Ra, we offer a new batch of new recordings from the Sun Ra Mixtape Series. We share five new mixtapes featuring music by Odean Pope, The Mysterious Traveler All Stars, Tara Middleton, King Khan, Alexa Gold, Satellites Are Spinning Ensembles, Bethlehem, Craig Owens & The Bodo Ensemble, Saudah Al Akbar, V. Shayne Frederick, Rob Martino and others

 

TO DOWNLOAD OR LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MIXTAPE SERIES, CLICK HERE.

 

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Happy Earth Arrival Day Sun Ra!!!

 

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, Kim Pedro Rodriguez, Dan Blacksberg, V. Shayne Frederick, D.MHotep, 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
 

Stay tuned for more details about this mixtape series as it grows!!!

 

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Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the CultureWorks | Greater Philadelphia

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Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the Culture Trust | Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Philadelphia Foundation.