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Tone Cluster to perform with Rakestar and Christine Duncan

In News by David Fowler

Tone Cluster – quite a queer choir is delighted to be performing with Rakestar jazz Arkestra in a concert titled Sung Ra: Songs of Sun Ra.  The concert is Sunday, Jan 22, 7:30pm at Church of the Ascension, 253 Echo Drive, Ottawa.

SUNG RA: Songs Of Sun Ra

This concert spectacle combines two unique Ottawa musical groups, the 8-piece jazz band RAKESTAR ARKESTRA, and the 35-voice choir TONE CLUSTER, decked out in extravagant full-colour costumes (watch for the unicorn) singing and playing favourite hits of the great jazz master SUN RA, under the direction of the contemporary Canadian musical star CHRISTINE DUNCAN.

SUN RA was a visionary jazz pianist, composer and bandleader who came up through the swing era of the 40’s and then broke free in the 50’s to create his own unique sounds, building a large jazz “arkestra” to take his music around the world. His performances were costumed celebrations, rich explorations of music and movement. He left planet Earth in 1993, leaving behind such anthems as “We Travel The Spaceways” and “Space Is The Place”.

CHRISTINE DUNCAN is a powerhouse vocalist, improvisor and conductor. Her performance history includes jazz, R&B, gospel, contemporary opera and a wide variety of improvised musical adventures, working with a curious array of talented musicians, including Anthony Braxton, Kenny Wheeler, Ray Charles, Evan Parker, William Parker and Paul Horn. She conducts her own Element Choir in Toronto, backing the new vocal phenomenon Tanya Tagak in powerful performances that move audiences to tears. Christine is half of the crackerjack improv duo Barnyard Drama.

RAKESTAR ARKESTRA first played the music of Sun Ra in a show called “Ra Material” at the Mercury Lounge in 2000. The band then carried on to lead the parade — literally — at the Guelph Jazz Festival; take the stage at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival; and share the stage with Balinese Gamelan Semara Winanagun and Akpokli Drum & Dance Society in the colossal jazz-world-music mash-up Worlds Collide. The Rakestar CD “Some Ra” has been praised by NYC’s Village Voice; by CODA Magazine (“aesthetically high-caliber music”); and by Cadence Magazine (“consistently entertaining sounds”).

TONE CLUSTER — quite a queer choir — takes pride in commissioning new works by Canadian composers and showcasing talented performers from Ottawa-Gatineau.  Since 1994, this 35-voice mixed choir has created a queer-positive environment where gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender singers and their allies can be themselves while striving for choral excellence, celebrating diversity, and supporting other groups in Ottawa’s queer community and beyond.

7:30 pm, Sunday, January 22, 2017

Church of the Ascension

253 Echo Drive, near Pretoria Bridge

$20 at the door