Bio of the Band
From the first note of their new CD on Summit Records, "Convergence", you know that the Lunar Octet offers creative and original Latin jazz. The award-winning band plays highly original and eclectic music drawing on Cuban and Puerto Rican salsa, rock, African high-life music, and Brazilian sambas to forge a new sound enriched by these traditions. The band's original compositions involve rich arrangements and strong focus on soloists. 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, the band has carried its high-energy message to dancers and listeners, jazz, R&B, and rock fans alike. Through hundreds of performances, the band has expanded its following among audiences, including in the Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival, 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 many more.
The group won the WEMU-Depot Town Jazz Competition and performed numerous live simulcasts on Michigan radio stations, including WCBN, WEMU, and WDET. Its live performances have been featured on WEMU's program "City Scene". The Lunar Octet was the opening act on National Public Radio's national broadcast of the Miller Lite Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival.
The band has appeared live on television on WXYZ's show "Good Afternoon, Detroit', on Comcast Cable's "Live from Industry" series, and on Barden Cablevision's "Live from Montreux-Detroit" program.
The band has released five albums of their music, including the new "Convergence" on Summit Records, "Highway Fun" on Schoolkids Records, and three self-released recordings: "Lunar Glee Club", "Moonburn", and "Live at the Ark."
The band's live performance at the Michigan Union was featured on the compilation album, "Cruisin' Ann Arbor II". And the band's live performance at WGVU's Jazz Night in Grand Rapids, Michigan was included on the compilation album, "The Best of WGVU Jazz Night".
The band's performance of "From the Mountaintop" was the background music for WEMU's daily radio program "Music at Nightspots", previewing upcoming southern Michigan jazz performances.