Exhibition on jazz pioneer Sun Ra opens in Cairo

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An exhibition entitled ‘1971, Sun Ra in Egypt’ at Medrar in Cairo focuses on intergalactic jazz legend’s music – and love of ancient Egypt — Video published in Ahram Online.

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Cairo-based art space Medrar for Contemporary Art is currently hosting Belgian artist Tom Bogaert’s exhibition 1971, Sun Ra in Egypt, which opened on 15 May.

The exhibition features a wide range of art works by Bogaret, based on his ongoing research into the life and work of American jazz pioneer Sun Ra.

The opening night included a special performance by two bands – Dwarfs of East Agouza (featuring Maurice Louca) and Invisible Hands, in a tribute performance to Sun Ra.

Sun Ra was born Herman Poole Blounte in the US state of Alabama. He changed his name to Le Sony’r Ra after a visionary experience that led him to believe he came from the planet Saturn. From this point on, Sun Ra was fascinated by both outer space and ancient Egypt. His incorporation of the Egyptian sun god Ra into his name was the first of many invocations of ancient Egypt’s culture and beliefs.

Sun Ra was famous for his music as much as his eccentricity, with his unique sonic productions that reflected a myriad of approaches and inspirations.  From the mid-1950s until his death in 1993, Sun Ra led a band called The Arkestra, which continues to perform its eccentric mix of free jazz, bop and electronic music under the leadership of Marshall Allen.

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