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Sun Ra
May 22, 1914 - May 30, 1993
2014 Inductee

Sun Ra was born into our world in 1915 in Birmingham, AL., and since that time the intergalactic traveler, translator of myths, poet, composer and visionary has been a innovator in Jazz.

His varied career has spanned most of the history of Jazz from pre-swing bands to utterly free improvisation. He is known as a pioneer in the use of electronic instruments, and was among the first to incorporate films, unique lighting effects, vivid costuming and dance into his performances.

He began playing piano when he was eleven, and received private musical training from Willa Randolph while attending Alabama A&M College in Huntsville.

Known initially as Herman "Sonny" Blount, he began his professional career in Birmingham with the Society Troubadours and with Paul Bascomb. He later moved to Chicago where he organized his own group. He played with Fletcher Henderson, Hezekiah Smith, Coleman Hawkins and Wynonie Harris among others.

During the 50s he adopted the name Sun Ra and formed his Solar Arkestra, also known as Space Arkestra and Intergalactic MythScience Arkestra.

He was inducted into the "Downbeat Magazine" Hall of Fame and received the Alabama Music Hall of Fame's America's Music Award for Contemporary Achievement.