Updated: Jan 3, 2022
A highly productive jazz musician, composer, poet and bandleader best known for his cosmic philosophies on life and music.
Sun Ra believed in 1914 he arrived on Earth from his home planet Saturn. Upon his arrival he was stripped of his memory. In the late 1930s he was then teleported back to Saturn and rediscovered his true identity, as Sun Ra. He returned to Earth and sort to spread his message of cosmic Afrocentrism through music.
He moved to Chicago at the end of World War 2 and came into contact and later influencing the beliefs of the Nation of Islam and Black Hebrew Israelites.
Sun Ra led his own space trio, The Sun Ra Arkestra. Unable to find a label receptive to his work, he created one of the first artist-run independent record labels in America, El Saturn Records.
In 1972 Sun Ra produced the film Space is the Place and accompanying album of the same name. He returned to his home planet on 30th May 1993. The Arkestra still performs to this day. Sun Ra's music is still a major influence to musicians, hip hop and free jazz.