Sun Ra

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Fifth Estate # 79, May 15-28, 1969

The ageless Sun Ra and his thirteen-piece Astro-Infinity Arkestra will unite with the MC5 and the people of Detroit at the Grande Ballroom May 16 and 17 for a mass manifestation of revolutionary culture and energy that’s sure to bathe the city in its vibrations for weeks to come.

The Arkestra will also appear at the 1st Annual Rock and Roll Revival, May 30 and 31 at the State Fair Grounds.

Sun Ra, the master musician and orchestrator of cosmic sound brings with him a band the nucleus of which has been living and working together for over ten years.

The Astro-Infinity Arkestra is one of the most dedicated and highly developed forces moving for the liberation of the planet and its inhabitants from the confines of western culture and its stagnated, earth-bound forms.

The Arkestra has been experiencing itself as a totally united community of musicians for many years, and they have grown organically all along the way. Together. They are a whole new universe of sound and color, energy and motion, and theirs is a music completely unique on this planet.

It is a music of the future, an utterly spaced-out free form flow of energies unexperienced by most earthmen.

As Sun Ra says, “How many times has it been said that music is a language? I want to say it again in another way. COSMIC music is a cosmic language. Cosmic music is a plane of tomorrow, it is the dimension and the balanced perspective of tomorrow. It is the view of the living future of the living tomorrow. The music is rhythm, melody, harmony and precision. It speaks to the worlds of the greater potentials awaiting the peoples of the worlds at every future point on every future plane.”

Sun Ra and his Arkestra came to Detroit once before, in June of 1967, for a poorly-publicized concert at Wayne State with the MC5 that left virtually everyone in the small audience sitting stunned in their seats for minutes after the performance ended. This concert has since been a source of inspiration to many of the people of the then-embryonic Detroit free community, particularly to the MC5, whose music makes reference to Sun Ra’s in many ways.

The reunion of these two bands at the Grande should be one of the greatest cultural events ever to occur in Detroit.

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