Communications & Public Relations, Sun Ra Arkestra Directed by Marshall Allen
My dad opened my ears to jazz as a child, mostly with big bands. Throughout high school, I attended local jazz concerts and weekend matinee jazz concerts in Philly clubs. I initially focused on big bands like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, and Don Ellis. I did a college thesis on "The Aesthetics Of Rhythm As Seen In The Jazz Of Don Ellis" as part of my Philosophy degree.
Things changed when I was awakened to the Sun Ra Arkestra through exposure at a Newport Jazz Festival - New York concert at Carnegie Hall in 1973. I got to meet and know Sun Ra through concerts in New York City and elsewhere discussing all manner of Sun Ra's cosmic perceptions with him and members of the Arkestra. Through my relationship with the Moers Jazz Festival in Germany, I helped negotiate in 1978 Sun Ra's agreement to go to the 1979 Moers Jazz Festival. Sun Ra in 1978 asked me to do a Communications & Public Relations function for the Arkestra, which I have done at the request of Sun Ra until he left the planet in 1993, at the request of John Gilmore from 1993 until he left the planet in 1995, and from 1995 to now at the request of Marshall Allen.
I have had many adventures because of requests made by Sun Ra, John Gilmore, and Marshall Allen. Experiences in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia involving the Arkestra through the Communications & Public Relations function have been fascinating.
My support of the Arkestra runs a wide range of varied activities and efforts that continue to be focused on supporting the philosophy and spirit of Sun Ra and the Arkestra.