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Sun Ra Celebration Precedes Chicago Jazz Festival

May 21 event will be followed by neighborhood concerts

The Chicago Jazz Festival will launch its celebration of the centennial of the late keyboardist/composer Sun Ra with a special event May 21 at Constellation at 9:30 p.m. The venue is located at 3111 N. Western Ave. in Chicago. The event, produced in collaboration with Dark Matter Coffee, takes place on the eve Sun Ra’s birthday. As part of the festivities, according to a press release, Dark Matter will introduce a limited-edition blend named for Sun Ra called Astro-Black, with packaging designed in conjunction with the Chicago art gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey. The event also serves as the kickoff for the Chicago Jazz Festival’s Neighborhood Nights series, a program of free concerts taking place throughout Chicago leading up to the festival, which takes place Labor Day weekend in Millennium Park and at the Chicago Cultural Center.

For the event at Constellation Philadelphia DJ and producer King Britt will perform his new work “The Fholston Paradigm Live Transmission Mix,” described as “a displaced re-interpretation of Ra’s ‘Space is the Place.'”

Starting the weekend of July 18 and 19, the Chicago Jazz Festival will present its latest installment of Neighborhood Nights, a concert series taking place in neighborhoods throughout the city: the annual Chicago Latin Jazz Festival in Humboldt Park (7/18 & 19), Phil Cohran at Garfield Park Conservatory (7/26), Willie Pickens at the Woodson Library (8/2), Michael Zerang’s Blue Lights at the Logan Square Roundabout (8/9), and Margaret Murphy Webb at the DuSable Museum (TBD).

Originally Published