Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

Avreeayl Ra

Chicago master drummer / percussionist AVREEAYL RA was born in Chicago on May 21st, 1947 and still lives there today. He is a renowned musician always in demand among visiting jazz artists in Chicago. Avreeayl’s father, Arthur “Swinglee” O’Neil, was a tenor saxophonist who was mentor to many young Chicago musicians, including John Gilmore, later the mainstay of Sun Ra’s Arkestra. (Avreeayl reports that John Gilmore had a crush on Avreeayl’s sister and so spent as much time as he could at the family house.) Swinglee O’Neil played in one of Sun Ra’s early Chicago bands, and Sun Ra played in one of Swinglee’s groups as well.

Read more
The venerable “Chicago Tribune” music critic Howard Reich wrote recently, “An indispensable Chicago innovator, Avreeayl Ra shapes the music-making swirling around him with remarkable precision and poise... extraordinarily sensitive percussion.” John Kelman of IndieJazz.com has described Avreeayl’s playing as “part Tony Williams, part Elvin Jones, and all Avreeayl Ra.” And John Litweiler in “The Chicago Sun-Times”: “He supplies ingenious sound colors and textures.”

9 Photos

Albums

Hope, Future and Destiny by Nicole Mitchell & Black Earth Ensemble
Hope, Future and...
Dreamtime
2004
buy

Similar Artists

Fred Anderson Fred Anderson
saxophone
Michael White Quintet Michael White Quintet
band/orchestra
Billy Harper Billy Harper
saxophone
Dave Weckl Dave Weckl
drums
Charles Gayle Charles Gayle
saxophone
Frank Wright Frank Wright
sax, tenor
Leroy Jenkins Leroy Jenkins
violin

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.