A Centennial Celebration with Sun Ra Arkestra
A Pivotal Performance at the 2014 Chicago Jazz Festival
(Tuesday, September 2, 2014) There are moments in life that easily transcend others. Sunday, August 31st was one of those for me. My father, “Pat” Patrick, Jr., formerly played with the Sun Ra Arkestra on baritone saxophone and other instruments. I was fortunate to interview and listen to the stories of the members on the last night of the Chicago Jazz Festival in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion of Millennium Park. They closed out the concert and arrived onstage at 8:30 pm to a massive crowd. And the weather could not have been better.
Marshall Allen is the 90-year-old patriarch of the group and currently directs the band. He’s short in stature, but mighty in wisdom and strength. As we talked, his personality expressed as mild-mannered, soft spoken and very reflective of the old days. Marshall’s recall of earlier travels and the discipline he experienced under Sun Ra’s leadership was remarkable. We started at the beginning. I'm also grateful to have been bestowed the title of Honorary Member.