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Chicago Jazz Fest, Dark Matter Coffee Team Up For Sun Ra Tribute Blend

By Jon Graef in Food on May 10, 2014 8:15PM

Via Dark Matter Coffee

Fans of free jazz and affordable coffee will be delighted to learn that the Chicago Jazz Fest and Dark Matter Coffee have teamed up to make "Astro-Black," a limited-edition blend that pays tribute to jazz legend and Afrofuturist pioneer Sun Ra. Chicago art gallery Corbett Vs. Dempsey designed the package, and, according to Dark Matter, the blend has notes of cocoa, plum, and toffee,

Ra called Chicago home for many years, and it was in Chicago that both Ra's professional advancement with his "Arkestra" began and his personal and religious philosophies formulated.

To pay proper tribute to Ra and his profound artistic legacy, Chicago Jazz Fest and Dark Matter will host a special event at Constellation on Wednesday, May 21, starting at 9:30 p.m.. The event serves a dual purpose: not only does it represent the proper launch of "Astro-Black," but it also serves as the official kickoff for Chicago Jazz Festival's Neighborhood Nights.

Neighborhood Nights is a program of free concerts throughout the city leading up to the Chicago Jazz Festival itself, which takes place in Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center Labor Day Weekend, August 28-31. Though Sun Ra died in 1993, his Arkestra continues on, and will close the jazz festival on August 31. That's in addition to a whole host of events paying tribute to Ra in what would have been his 100th year.

For the free, 21+, May 21 event (which, incidentally, is a day before Sun Ra's birthday), however, Philadelphia DJ King Britt will perform "The Fholston Paradigm Live Transmission Mix," which a news release called "a displaced re-interpretation of [Sun Ra's album] Space is the Place."

If for some reason you can't make the event, you can listen to that mix here via the Dark Matter Mixcloud.

Dark Matter Coffee Presents: SPACE IS THE PLACE (KING BRITT FHLOSTON PARADIGM TRANSMISSION) by Dark Matter Coffeeâ„¢ on Mixcloud

Order "Astro-Black" here.

Constellation is located at 3111 N. Western Ave.