RAKESTAR ARKESTRA is an 8-piece jazz band from Ottawa, Canada, inspired by the creative genius of the great jazz iconoclast SUN RA.
RAKESTAR formed in the year 2000 as a collective of jazz and free/improv players numbering over a dozen. The group settled more recently into its current number — eight — featuring four saxophones (twin baritones), Hammond organ, synthesizer, xylophone, drums and percussion…..and electronic and instrumental spirit-calling.
The group’s name was derived — with much respect — from Sun Ra’s own beloved Intergalactic Research Arkestra…..or Myth Science Arkestra…..or Astro-Solar-Infinity Arkestra…..or Omniverse Jet Set Arkestra…..
RAKESTAR recorded original and Ra material for its CD “Some Ra” on the intrepid SPOOL label. The band led the parade at the GUELPH JAZZ FESTIVAL; locked horns with GAMELAN SEMARA WINANGUN’s metallophones at the OTTAWA INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL; and paraded through the FEATHERSTON AUTISM UNIT with dozens of lively young free spirits.
SUNG RA: Songs Of Sun Ra is Rakestar’s latest musical adventure, combining forces with the Ottawa choir TONE CLUSTER at the Church of the Ascension, under the “conduction” of firebrand vocalist CHRISTINE DUNCAN, paying loving vocal tribute to the great navigational star, Sun Ra…..a spectacle that lifted many hearts and blew a few minds. Catch a little on video here.