CHRISTMAS ON SATURN (IN TOTNES)
Interglactic jazz lands in Totnes on the evening of December 13th at the Royal Seven Stars Hotel at 8. The Heliocentric Omniversal Travelling Band (HOTband) will take the stage to present “Christmas On Saturn” – a seasonal homage to the American jazz musician Sun Ra who claimed to have come from Saturn to Planet Earth to improve the place with music and sound.
Sun Ra was actually born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1914 and played with various jazz and blues groups before forming his own “Arkestra” in the 1950s. In the ‘60s they were known as one of the furthest out free jazz bands and pioneered collective and conducted improvisation, as well as using outer space imagery in both their performances and song titles such as “Space Is The Place”, “Strange Celestial Road” and “There Are Other Worlds They Have Not Told You Of”.
From the ‘60s to Ra’s return to Saturn in 1993 the Arkestra toured and played continuously with its extraordinary repertoire of space tunes, jazz standards and free improvisations.
The HOTband was first formed in Totnes by Sam Richards nearly fifteen years ago. It played a number of times for the Totnes Jazz Collective and also in a major festival on The Hoe at Plymouth. For the Christmas extravaganza a number of the musicians from those early days will be joined by fresh faces. Sam Richards directs and plays keyboard. The repertoire is taken from Sun Ra’s own tunes with some seasonal songs added. So from “Outer Space Incorporated” to the strangest “White Christmas” you ever heard you can expect an interstellar evening of saxophones, brass, drums, bass, keyboards, singers, electronic sound and turntables. Entry is £8 and £5.
Sam Richards comments: “It is impossible to reproduce the sound of Sun Ra’s Arkestra which was utterly unique. But Sun Ra has always been an inspiration to me as much for his approach to running a band, improvising, freedom and loads of surprises. It’s in this spirit that we present our seasonal offering.”
Heliocentric Omniversal Travelling Band
Ballroom, Seven Stars Hotel Totnes
Sunday 13 December 8pm
"CHRISTMAS ON SATURN"
Musical Director & Keyboards: Sam Richards
Vocalists: Noelle Rollings, Gaelle Hammond
Electric Violin: Lona Kozik
Electric Double Bass: David George
Saxophones: Ric White, Andy Williamson, Mick Green
Baritone Saxophone & Bass Clarinet: Alex Lloyd
Trumpet & Sousaphone: Dave Holdsworth
Trumpet & Electronics: Tim Sayer
Keyboard: Lewis Riley
Drums: Steve Crossen
Turntables: DJ XL
Tickets: £8/£5 on the door