FringeArts Presents "The Beautiful Noise," An Interdisciplinary Homage To Jazz Legend Sun Ra


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PHILADELPHIA — Bringing together an intergalactic performance as only FringeArts can, “The Beautiful Noise: A Special Tribute to Sun Ra" will be presented as an unrehearsed, one-time-only event on Friday, June 6. Curated by composer King Britt and artist Kate Watson Wallace, electronic-based musicians, body-based performers and videos artists will improvise a never before, never again collision of artistic synergy in tribute to their music hero, jazz surrealist Sun Ra.

The Beautiful Noise pairs local and international artists who are heavily influenced by Sun Ra but might not otherwise work together to join in an improvised collaboration, emphasizing dance and music’s endless possibilities. The performance is driven by bits and pieces of electronic sounds from the Sun Ra palette and re-contextualized into new territory, accompanied by live video paying homage to Mr. Ra. After the performance, the audience is invited to stay for a dance party celebration with the artists.

Participating artists include Tendai Maraire on percussion, Vernon Reid on guitar, vocalist Imani Izuri, Marlo Reynolds and King Britt on keyboards and electronics, and Anthony Tidd on bass, along with choreographer Jaamil Olewale Kosoko, live video mixing by Jason Senk and after-party DJ HPrizm.

“The Beautiful Noise: A Special Tribute" to Sun Ra takes place Friday, June 6 at 8 p.m. There is no late seating. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door; FringeArts members save 30 percent. A special member pre-sale will begin on May 1, and general tickets will be on sale Saturday, May 3 at FringeArts.com or by calling 215-413-1318. FringeArts’ new waterfront venue is located at 140 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For more information, visit FringeArts.com.



Percussion: Tendai Maraire, Shabazz Palaces (Seattle)
Guitar: Vernon Reid, Living Color (New York)
Vocals: Imani Izuri (Brooklyn)
Keyboards/Electronics: Marlo Reynolds (Philadelphia)
Keyboards/Electronics: King Britt (Philadelphia)
Bass: Anthony Tidd (Philadelphia)
After Party DJ: HPrizm, Anti Pop Consortium (New York)
Dance/Choreography: Jaamil Kosoko (New York)
Live Video Mixing: Jason Senk (Chicago)


Kate Watson-Wallace is a choreographer, visual artist and curator. She creates site-based installation in our everyday spaces. Works include HOUSE, a performance for 15 audience members inside an abandoned row home; CAR, a performance for four audience members who sit inside a moving vehicle; STORE, a performance installation inside an abandoned mega-store; Everywhere, a participatory online dance experience; and contest, a flash mob for 100 community members at the Kimmel Center’s International Festival of the Arts. Her most recent work, Mash Up Body, a new installation under the mentorship of Miguel Gutierrez, is a collaboration with Man Man drummer Christopher Sean Powell.

Kate has received numerous awards for her choreography, including: A 2007 Pew Fellowship in the Arts in Choreography, two Map Fund Grants and a Doris Duke Exploration grant through Creative Capital, multiple grants from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through Dance Advance, The PA Council on the Arts, The Independence Foundation and Penn PAT.

Her company with creative partner Jaamil Kosoko, anonymous bodies/art collective, has shown work at venues nationally, including: The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Joyce SoHo (NYC), Dance Theater Workshop (NYC), Dance New Amsterdam (NYC), Dance Place (D.C.), Danspace, ODC Dance (SF), Velocity Dance (Seattle), Movement Research at Judson Church (NYC), Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh), The Kimmel Center, and The Yard (Martha’s Vineyard). They have been in residence in universities across the country.

As a performer, she toured with Headlong from 2003-11, and is currently an incubator artist with the company.

She has worked for Artists U, a professional development program for artists started by Andrew Simonet, since 2008. She is committed to making artists lives easier, through helping them plan strategically for balanced, sustainable lives.


King Britt is a producer, composer, performer and curator of electronic music.

As a producer/composer, he fuses his knowledge of music history from many cultures and genres with electronic compositions, which redefine and re-contextualizes the past into the present. This is best shown in his work for Preservation Hall’s release King Britt presents Sister Gertrude Morgan, which combined the gospel evangelist’s vocal recordings from 1970 with contemporary composition. This recording went on to penetrate the pop culture divide, by appearing in Michael Mann’s Miami Vice and HBO’s True Blood TV show, who’s soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy. It was this and many other projects from his vast catalog that helped him receive the Pew Fellowship for Composition in 2007.

He has remixed and produced many diverse artists including Miles Davis, Curtis Mayfield, Radiohead, Alison Moyet, Everything But the Girl and Chic, as well as scoring commercials for Rolex and L’Oreal Paris. As a performer, King is best known as one of the top globetrotting DJs in the world. From cutting his craft as the wax poetic for the Grammy Award winning Digable Planets to traveling solo to different cities and countries, bringing cultures together through his eclectic taste and live improvised dance/experimental sets.

In addition to the DJ sets, he brings many projects from studio to the stage environment. These include, Sylk130 Collective (which sold over 500k copies), Saturn Never Sleeps and The Sister Gertrude Experience, performing in spaces as diverse as The Whitney Museum, The Corcoran Gallery and Winter Garden in the NYC Financial Center. King has graced the stage at festivals well, such as Kernel Festival (Italy), Moogfest (Asheville), Glastonbury (UK), River to River (NYC), Camp Bisco (upstate NYC) and Voodoo Fest (New Orleans).

As a curator, he has done events for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Knitting Factory NYC, The Getty Museum and most recently MoMA PS1, bringing electronic music artists into special projects and settings that they normally are unaccustomed and creating new work. Recently remixing Meredith Monk, Saul Williams and King Sunny Ade. King continues to be an important force in the shaping of contemporary music.

He is currently working on Dumi Songs with Tendai Maraire of Shabazz Palaces, which take the historic Zimbabwe recordings of Tendai’s father Dumi Maraire, the master of the Mbira, and combines them with contemporary composition and arrangements. Set to be released in 2013 with a live multimedia experience to accompany it.


FringeArts supports artists and brings the world’s newest and most cutting-edge cultural experiences to Philadelphia, amplifying the vibrancy of the city as a renowned cultural center and an unparalleled place to live, work and visit. Founded in 1997 and formerly known as the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, the organization serves local, national and international artists of all disciplines and levels of achievement through an annual 17-day Festival along with year-round series of high-quality contemporary dance, theater and music performances; commissioned public art installations; and a residency program that continues to expand and grow as a state-of-the-art incubator for artists.

This story appears courtesy of Canary Promotion + Design.
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