The Sun Ra Arkestra

The Sun Ra Arkestra
Thursday, February 18 at 8 PM
The Morton Theatre


3-color 11″x17″ silkscreen poster designed and hand-printed by Ry McCullough available (local pick-up only). Purchase online at Local sales in Athens may be arranged by contacting (cash or check only).

The spirit of famed jazz musician, composer, poet, and bandleader Sun Ra is alive and well in the present day manifestation of the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen, featuring a mix of classic Sun Ra big-band compositions and arrangements alongside Allen’s own compositions and arrangements that are deeply rooted in the spirit of Sun Ra.

Marshall Allen, 91, joined the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1958 and led Sun Ra’s formidable reed section for over 40 years. He assumed the helm of the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1995 after the ascension of Sun Ra in 1993 and John Gilmore in 1995. Mr. Allen continues to reside at the Sun Ra Residence in Philadelphia, composing, writing and arranging for the Arkestra much like his mentor, totally committed to a life of discipline centered totally on the study, research, and further development of Sun Ra’s musical precepts.

This historic evening at the Morton Theatre will commence with a rare performance by Athens’ own Flicker Orchestra, which provides live music for classic silent films.

Presented by Ideas for Creative Exploration (ICE), an interdisciplinary initiative for advanced research in the arts at the University of Georgia, and the Helen S. Lanier Chair of the Department of English at UGA in celebration of the centennial year of Dada and experimental art for all time.

For more information about the Sun Ra Arkestra visit

Famed jazz musician, composer, poet and bandleader Sun Ra was born on May 22, 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama. He began performing professionally as a teen and, after moving to Chicago in 1945, immersed himself in jazz and the blues. Along the way, Sun Ra was influenced by space, religion and radical social movements—all of which found their way into his music. A prolific composer and record label owner, he took to wearing colorful, outlandish costumes with his band members.

One of the first, and the oldest surviving African-American built, owned, and operated vaudeville theatres in the United States, the fully restored Morton Theatre opened in 1910 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


3-color 11″x17″ silkscreen poster designed and hand-printed by Ry McCullough available at ICE – $20 while supplies last!

All photography by Jason Thrasher