Lumi plans free Friday concert

Fusion group to play Presque Isle band shell

The Marquette band Lumi will play a free concert Friday at the Presque Isle band shell. The event also is the band’s “release show” for its new album, “The Elephant Never Forgets.” (Photo courtesy of Ryan Brandt)

MARQUETTE — Lumi is coming to Marquette soon.

Lumi is Finnish for “snow,” and although it inevitably will hit the area in copious amounts when the cold weather comes, a different sort of Lumi will make an appearance in the city this week.

Ryan Brandt, an adjunct teacher at Northern Michigan University, is lead guitarist for the band Lumi, which will hold a free concert from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Presque Isle band shell.

He called Lumi a multi-genre band that has multiple appeal.

“We’re kind of a fusion group,” Brandt said. “We mix funk, rock, reggae, electronic, jazz.”

In February, the group went to the Third Coast Recording Company in downstate Grand Haven to record its first album.

Brandt, who holds a master’s degree in neuroscience, talked about the experience in academic terms.

“It’s been a long process,” Brandt said. “I consider it our Lumi thesis. It’s all music we’ve been writing for a year and a half.”

He called the Friday concert a “release show” for the album, which is entitled “The Elephant Never Forgets” after one of the group’s songs.

That and the other tracks, such as “Funk Fried Tomatoes” and “Freezing Up,” can be downloaded at store.cdbaby.com/cd/lumi42. It also will be released on Spotify and iTunes Friday, plus hard CDs will be available at the concert.

Don’t let those song titles scare you off.

“We have something for everybody,” Brandt said.

One focus is upbeat funk rock, he noted, although the band is big into jam sessions — musicians like John Coltrane, John McLaughlin and Miles Davis leading into bands like the Grateful Dead and Phish.

“We kind of take it from the aspect of much more compositional writing, so all of our solos are improvised, but our music itself is very compositional on its arrangements, so we don’t go on too many extended jams for the most part,” Brandt said.

Entertainment, though, still is a big part of the Lumi experience.

“We try to put on a performance and a show every time,” Brandt said. “We try to take our music to the next level.

“Our philosophy in music is to create a positive environment, so we’re having fun doing what we love to do, and hopefully we can take you out of your daily routine and bring you to the present and create just an amazing environment for everyone to enjoy,” Brandt said.

He has been playing guitar for about 12 years, and taking it seriously for the last five or six years.

As with many musicians, it’s an ongoing learning process. For Brandt, it’s involved taking courses at NMU on subjects like music theory.

“You’ve got to really dedicate yourself to your instrument if you want to get to that professional level,” Brandt said.

People can learn more about the group at lumi.band. However, the website has this suggestion: “Honestly, the best way to stay updated on our future servings of groove jelly is to follow our Facebook page.”

Lumi also will release a three-song extended play work, which will include a music video shot at nearby Paradise Cove with the purpose of spotlighting the area.

“You don’t realize how amazing this place really is until you leave and come back,” Brandt said.

The presence of Lumi at the Presque Isle Bandshell is a departure of sorts for the venue.

Tiina Harris, the city of Marquette’s community services manager for arts and culture, said the Marquette City Band is the major stakeholder for the bandshell.

“It’s really identified with the Marquette City Band, but it’s really a city venue,” Harris said, with a lot of potential as a performance venue.

In that vein, the city wants to encourage more youths to make use of the bandshell, she said.

Harris was excited about Lumi, which she called a “group of young creatives,” wanting to live in Marquette.

“Yes, you can be a performing artist and make Marquette a home base,” Harris said.

The Friday concert, she pointed out, will be a family-friendly event.

“These are the kind of people that are making a difference in our community,” Harris said. “They’re people that are putting down roots and giving back to the community in so many different ways.”

The concert in turn could give a little bit back to Lumi, with Brandt noting Marquette is limited on music venues.

“It’s a big deal to us,” Brandt said.

Again, a goal is to nurture a good musical environment.

Brandt said that bringing Lumi’s show outside at Presque Isle with a “festival vibe” and a small light show will give people the chance to see a good production.

“We’re putting on a true performance,” he said.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.