Latin Jazz Wednesdays: The Lunar Octet
Sponsored by WEMU 89.1
Original & eclectic music drawing on Jazz, Cuban and Puerto Rican Salsa, Rock, African high-life and Brazilian sambas
The award-winning Lunar Octet plays highly original and eclectic music drawing on jazz, Cuban and Puerto Rican salsa, rock, African high-life music, and Brazilian sambas, to forge a vital new sound enriched by these traditions. Almost all of the band's music is original compositions involving rich arrangements and strong focus on soloists' improvisations, and all of the band members contribute to the compositional process. The band's music is exciting, dynamic, and powerful, including fiery Latin grooves, driving funk rhythms, swinging bop tunes, and romantic ballads.
Since its debut in February 1984, the band (then called the Lunar Glee Club) carried its high-energy message to dancers and listeners, jazz, R&B, and rock fans alike. Over the years, the band expanded its following among audiences by performing more than 200 times in numerous club and concert settings, including the Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival (in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, and 1991), the Flint Jazz Festival, the Columbus Arts Festival, the Lancaster Festival, the Ann Arbor Art Fair, the WEMU/Depot Town Winter Jazz Series, Rusty's Jazz Cafe, Ann Arbor's Top of the Park, the Bird of Paradise, the Del Rio, Mr. Flood's Party, the Blind Pig, the Detroit Festival of the Arts, Detroit's New Center Park, Toledo's CityFest, Toledo's Rib-Off, the Ann Arbor Art Fair (every year beginning in 1985), and in many other settings as well.
The group won the WEMU-Depot Town Jazz Competition (Ypsilanti, Michigan) in 1985 and performed numerous live simulcasts on Michigan radio stations, including WCBN, WEMU, and WDET. Its live performances were featured twice on WEMU's program "City Scene". In addition, Lunar Octet was the opening act on National Public Radio's national broadcast of the Miller Lite Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival on August 31, 1991.Back to Events