Slide Show: Sun Ra Cosmic Centenary

By
Trevor Cheitlin
February 25, 2014
Special guest and longtime Sun Ra Arkestra member Marshall Allen plays an electric wind instrument (EWI).
Berklee voice professor Stan Strickland plays the bass clarinet.
The band plays for an enthusiastic crowd at the BPC.
Berklee bass professor David Clark also acted as music director for the show.
Voice Department assistant chair Diane Richardson shows 'em how it's done.
Special guest Danny Ray Thompson rocks the baritone sax.
Harmony professor Dave Harris relaxes backstage.
The band hangs out before the show.
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Photo by Kelly Davidson

On February 20, a group of Berklee professors joined three special guests—Sun Ra Arkestra members Marshall Allen, Charles Davis, and Danny Ray Thompson—on stage at the Berklee Performance Center for a celebration of the Sun Ra Cosmic Centenary.

Sun Ra, the prolific but controversial jazz composer who claimed to originate not from Earth but from Saturn, gained a dedicated following of fans who have continued to celebrate his music since his death in 1993. In the words of Berklee bass professor and Sun Ra Cosmic Centenary music director David Clark: "Everyone is free to make up their minds about whether the Sun Ra Arkestra was indeed the best band led by an alien, as some have said, but I believe that it was hands down, far and away, the single most creative jazz group of the 20th century."

Click on the photo to see a slide show from the concert, and on the video below to see footage of the concert.