Sun Ra was a highly productive jazz musician, composer, poet and bandleader best known for his “cosmic” philosophies on life and music, and for leading his musical ensemble, the Arkestra.
He began performing professionally as a teen and, after moving to Chicago in 1945, immersed himself in jazz and the blues. Along the way, Sun Ra was influenced by space, religion and radical social movements—all of which found their way into his music. A prolific composer and record label owner, he took to wearing colorful, outlandish costumes with his band members.
Initially centered around Sun Ra for almost 40 years, the Arkestra went through various incarnations and is still active currently under the leadership of Marshall Allen.