Tyrone Hill Has Left the Planet


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Tyrone Hill, trombone player for the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen, left the planet on March 11, 2007 at age 58. He first started playing the trombone during his Gillespie Junior High School days in North Philadelphia.

Tyrone joined the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1979 and remained a fixture of the brass section for his 28 years in the Arkestra. He brought a pulsating rich and full sound to Sun Ra's music that was appreciated by many of the musicians inside the Arkestra and by countless fans of the band. Sun Ra always relied on Tyrone Hill to kick off compositions like “Discipline 27-II" where his trombone would set the pace that would be followed by the rest of the band. He can be found on over 40 LPs and CDs with the Sun Ra Arkestra.

When not busy with Arkestra engagements, he led the “Deep Space Posse" group whose music was inspired by Sun Ra, but explored other elements in the avant-garde jazz direction. He also provided a house band for a television cooking show hosted by Bobby Seale and has played in the Philadelphia Mummer's Day Parade.

An avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, Tyrone could be found outside the front gate of Lincoln Financial Field playing the Eagles fight song before many Eagles home games. The Philadelphia Daily News featured Tyrone in an October 29, 2004 article with Tyrone stating “I'm a die- hard Eagles fan. I feel like I'm their 12th man because somebody told me that every time I play here, they win. Their winning brings people in the city together. I feel that love in North Philly, where I'm from, and all over the city."

Marshall Allen, the Musical Director of the Sun Ra Arkestra, commented “We will always remember Tyrone for the beautiful music that he created." Arkestra trumpet player Fred Adams noted “I was shoulder to shoulder with Tyrone in the brass section for my entire Arkestra career. His sound always boosted mine and the sum of my trumpet and his trombone always ended up greater than the total of those two instruments." Long time Arkestra vocalist Art Jenkins spoke for many in the band when he said that Tyrone would be deeply missed in the Arkestra.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2007, 3:00 p.m. at the Church of the Advocate, 1801 W. Diamond St., Philadelphia, PA (Tel: 1-215-236-6773). The Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen will participate in the memorial to pay tribute to the dedicated service Tyrone gave within the Arkestra.

Tyrone Hill joins many members of the Sun Ra spirit omniverse Arkestra who are now playing stronger in the next dimension now that Tyrone Hill has joined their ranks.

Greg Drusdow
Communications & Public Relations, Sun Ra Arkestra

see also http://www.eticomm.net/~kbillert/TyHisStory.html

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