Sun Ra Arkestra at Music Box Village Nov. 16 and 17

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Published on: November 10th, 2018

Photo by John Sonderman

Photo by John Sonderman

Join us on Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17 as we present the Sun Ra Arkestra in partnership with The Music Box Village

This is the first time the Arkestra has been in New Orleans in 15 years and they're sure to put on an out-of-this-world show at this venue that's like no other. WWOZ and New Orleans Airlift are honored to host these historic pioneers of the musical language of human liberation through Afrofuturism, under the legendary leadership of Director Marshall Allen.

Formed in the 1950s with Allen as one of its founding members, no other group has rivalled the stamina and familial legacy of the Sun Ra Arkestra. Over decades of development and work under Sun Ra’s guiding hand, they’ve established themselves as musical visionaries and beacons of Ra’s intention to elevate the spirits of all people.

The Sun Ra Arkestra: Marshall Allen, Danny Thompson, Tara Middleton, Noel Scott, Cecil Brooks, Elson Nascimento, Atakatune, Ronnie Burrage, Tyler Mitchell, DHotep, Farid Barron, Vincent Chancey, YahYah Abdoul, Dave Davis, James Stewart

For those unfamiliar with Sun Ra, he was a big-band innovator, among the pioneers of free improvisation and modal jazz. A bandleader and pianist, poet, and cosmic philosopher, he is considered to be an early pioneer of the Afrofuturist movement due to his music, writings and beliefs. His early work with keyboards and synthesizers place him among the vanguard of artists experimenting and recording with electronics. Though his mainstream success was limited, Sun Ra was a prolific recording artist and frequent live performer, and remained both influential and controversial throughout his life for his music and persona.

The influence of Sun Ra can be seen throughout many aspects of black music. He grounded his practice of Afrofuturism in a musical tradition of performing blackness that remains relevant today. Ra often experimented with extra-terrestriality in his stage show, sometimes performing in cocktail lounges dressed in space suits and ancient Egyptian regalia. By placing his band and performances in space and other-worldly environments, Sun Ra built a universe of his own that reflected his view of how the African diaspora connected.

Saturday’s performance will be preceded by a Q&A session with bandleader Marshall Allen.

The Music Box Village is a unique experimental art installation of "musical houses" - small structures that are also newly-invented musical instruments. Musicians who perform in the Music Box work collaboratively with these structures and their own conventional instruments to create new sounds and reinvent the familiar. Every performance is entirely unique, built on collaborations initiated by New Orleans Airlift, and designed to build bridges across cultural communities.

The Sun Ra Arkestra / Directed by Marshall Allen
Friday and Saturday / November 16th and 17th / One show per night
Doors open 7PM - 10:00PM
$30 Advance Tickets/ $35 Day of Show
$75 VIP Package (November 17th show ONLY)
For tickets and VIP info please visit

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