Sun Ra Arkestra performed on a stage set up at the grassy field between Walnut and Locust on 40th St. for a few hours.
On stage were 14 musicians, 3 sax players, multiple percussionists, flute, maracas, bongos, trombone, (+ many other instruments) different guys would have the mic at times for the vocals too. This was a nice big jazzy set up. Everyone on stage was wearing a funny hat or a sequined type shirt. Now this band has been playing since the 1950’s. Not with all the original members but I mean that’s a long time to have a band going. They are led by Marshall Allen. Personally, jazz music doesn’t age. And the way that Sun Ra Arkestra played demonstrated that. Everyone was full of life, very energetic, lots of head boppin and jumpin around, like feelin the vibe of it. A few of them left the stage to groove around the crowd during a song. They did “We Travel the Spaceways” and “Space is the Place” and a ton others that I couldn’t remember because my dog was going crazy with excitement throughout the set. It was a beautiful afternoon, the sun was going down so it wasn’t too hot and there was a really upbeat feel to the event. The crowd was a good mix of people, and there was a pretty big turnout too. Most people sat on chairs or blankets with their families or friends and just relaxed to the music.
If you haven’t heard much jazz music Sun Ra’s music is highly recommended and easily accessible.