WXPN
Search
Donate
Menu

Since 2015, Philadelphia’s legendary Sun Ra Arkestra has made an annual tradition of playing their hometown on Halloween. Were we not in the middle of a global pandemic, the cosmic jazz ensemble would almost certainly be warming up for another memorable night at Johnny Brenda’s this weekend.

The next best thing? Watch this full-concert recording of the Arkestra’s 2016 run filling the JBs stage to the brim.

The hour-and-41-minute set is atmospheric, epic, and seasonally timely in multiple ways. In addition to the looming presidential election, the show also coincided with a transit strike in Philadelphia. “I hope that the strike with SEPTA works out in the favor of the people,” trumpeter Michael Ray tells the crowd. “I pray that this election [does].” Regarding that, he says, “sometimes you have to call upon some spirits,” and introducing a surprise cover of the Casper theme song, he says “Most of the ghosts that come up, they have their things to say, but this is a friendly ghost.”

That Casper cover lands at the 36-minute mark, followed up the ominous groove of Sun Ra’s “Halloween,” where vocalist Tara Middleton’s voice is petrifyingly fed through a vocal doubler, and Ray contributes maniacal laughter out of a monster movie.

Watch the show below.

Related Content
View All Related Content

No news added recently