When Herman “Sunny” Poole Blount (1914–1993) became Sun Ra, the world of jazz changed forever. Sun Ra’s body of work ranges from big band jazz and bebop to cosmic meditations.
In the mid-1950s, he founded the Sun Ra Arkestra, an experimental big band that, now under the guidance of Marshall Allen, continues to tour the world. With his free-wheeling style and philosophical undertones, Sun Ra became a frontrunner of free, modal, and spiritual jazz. And with his self-mythology as an alien entity from Saturn, he laid the ground for the Afrofuturist movement that inspires artists to this day.