April 25, 2014
April 14, 2014
Movers and Starters: Neven Zeremski of Dubb
April 8, 2014
Pop-up Startup
April 1, 2014
Movers and Starters: Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Hasegawa of Bridgit
December 16, 2013
Movers and Starters: Chris Gory
December 11, 2013
Canada Post Says Goodbye to Door-To-Door Delivery in Urban Areas
Music of the Spheres
The Sun Ra Arkestra comes to Regent Park

Arkestra bandleader Marshall Allen and Toronto choreographer Bill Coleman

The cosmic visionary known as Sun Ra – who arrived on this planet in Birmingham, Alabama circa 1914 as Herman Blount, by way of Saturn, he said – returned to the stars almost two decades ago now. But the Arkestra named for him continues on, bringing their electronically augmented Afrofuturist hymns (free jazz before there was free jazz) to earthly audiences. (Having recorded 100+ albums, there’s a vast repertoire they can explore.) The Arkestra’s last Toronto performance was four years ago, in the incongruously opulent surroundings of the Palais Royale, an avant-garde-music event where liveried ushers mingled with jazz nerds beneath the fancy stage lights. The band members wore radiant celestial-priest garb; their collaborators in the Coleman Lemieux dance company wore little of anything; and at the end everyone moved together in the center of things, Sun Ra’s mantra of “space is the place” coming as a refrain.

The Sun Ra Arkestra will be back in Toronto on Saturday, and if their return gig’s venue lacks the swing-era glamour of that Palais (or the hefty cover charge), its community is a more permanent one. Tomorrow afternoon, under the direction of 88-year-old leader Marshall Allen, they’ll play a free concert at Daniels Spectrum, the Regent Park cultural centre. Space is the Place is described as “a theatrical performance, site-specific event and gathering rolled into one,” enlisting students from the Regent Park School of Music and Coleman Lemieux dancers to create a “lobby sound symphony.” Until the distant bodies in our solar system start hosting shows, this setting seems ideal: an impoverished, proud neighbourhood of immigrants and minorities, hosting musicians whose ancestors were forced into slave ships and who dreamed of liberation on spaceships.


Chris Randle is the culture editor at Toronto Standard. Follow him on Twitter at @randlechris.

For more, follow us on Twitter at @TorontoStandard, and subscribe to our newsletter.

By Igor Bonifacic
April 17th, 2014
Industry Movers and Starters: Ian Carnevale of Fora
Read More
By Igor Bonifacic
April 28th, 2014
Industry Movers and Starters: Richard Liang of Preo
Read More
By Igor Bonifacic
April 22nd, 2014
Uncategorized Test post
Read More
By Igor Bonifacic
April 8th, 2014
Editors Pick Pop-up Startup
Read More
  • No article found.
  • By TS Editors
    March 10th, 2014
    Culture Revolutionizing the Beer Drinking Experience with the Sam Can (Sponsored)
    Read More
    By Jordan Sowunmi
    December 27th, 2013
    The Sprawl DO MAKE SAY HEAR: Five Things to Do in The City This Weekend
    Read More
    By Jordan Sowunmi
    December 26th, 2013
    The Sprawl Over 50,000 Torontonians Still Sitting in the Dark
    Read More
    By Jordan Sowunmi
    December 20th, 2013
    The Sprawl Supreme Court of Canada Deems Prostitution Laws Unconstitutional
    Read More


    Society Snaps: Eric S. Margolis Foundation Launch

    Kristin Davis moved Toronto's philanthroists to tears ... then sent them all home with a baby elephant - Read More