WASHINGTON PARK — Organizers are hoping for 100 saxophonists to gather in Washington Park on Thursday to celebrate what would have been jazz composer Sun Ra’s 100th birthday.
“This is a historic opportunity to share our collective energy in honor of this musician whose musical, political and spiritual philosophy has been impactful and transformative to so many,” said saxophonist David Boykin, in a call for saxophonists to join him at noon on Thursday at the Washington Park Public Forum at the intersection of 53rd Street and Martin Luther King Drive.
Sun Ra, born Herman Poole Blount, was the leader of the cosmic jazz movement that started in the mid-1950s. He developed much of the afrofuturism aesthetic that defined his work during his time playing in Chicago from 1945-61.
“We have chosen this space and place because of its significance to him,” Boykin said of Washington Park. “Along with other musicians, artists and activists he gathered in the park to play and to teach.”
Sun Ra, who adopted the moniker in 1952 while in Chicago, died in 1993.
Boykin is asking saxophonists who want to participate to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lunch will be provided after the event for musicians at the University of Chicago Arts Incubator, 301 E. Garfield Blvd.
Bus transportation can be arranged for student groups who wish to participate by contacting Dominique Boyd at email@example.com.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: