The Sun Ra Arkestra shine on

While the soul of Sun Ra (the musician) may have departed for planet Saturn in 1993, the consciousness-expanding spirit of Herman Blount continues to flow through his eclectic brand of other-worldly performers.

Internationally renowned for their complex blend of colourful Egyptian clothing, cosmic-sounding jazz and sci-fi aesthetic, the Arkestra come to Summerhall on Thursday 20 August to blow everybody’s minds once again.


Now led by 91-year-old saxophonist Marshall Allen (who says rock ‘n’ roll is a young man’s game?), as anyone who has ever seen the Sun Ra Arkestra will attest, their performances are pure sensory overload. But this is no ghost-like tribute band or watered-down homage, either. Oh, no.

“Sun Ra’s music

can be traced

all the way

back to the


The Arkestra may have retained the vision and spiritual ethos of its radical creator, however, they remain a forward-thinking collective that swing, boogie, and freestyle their way through all jazz idioms with eye-catching, ear-pricking razzmatazz.

Sun Ra’s music can be traced all the way back to the mid-1930s, so while it may feel like a journey back to the future, the current outfit are also guaranteed to send you boldly where no Edinburgh punter has ever gone before.

Are you ready to take an interstellar trip to the outer Solar System? Well, sit back, then, and enjoy the ride.

The Sun Ra Arkestra, The Dissection Room, Summerhall, Thursday, 20 August, 8.30pm, £20, 0131-560 1580

Words: Barry Gordon