Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Sol de Luna
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Sol de Luna

Eric Pokoyoway - July 6th, 2006
Something different is playing at Lil Bo’s in Traverse City on Wednesday nights.
Sol de Luna, formerly Bo Bossa, is a Latin inspired swing band that features six young multi-talented artists. Sol de Luna has only been together for four months, but has already turned one of Lil Bo’s slowest nights into one of their busiest, according to Sal Capone general manager at the night club.
“Now on Wednesday nights the customers just come in to listen to them,” Capone said. “I just like their style -- they are always up there laughing having a good time -- they just are a good group of young kids,” Capone said.
And Sol de Luna takes their music very seriously.
“We are both trained in music theory. We are not doing basic stuff by any means; we’re doing stuff that professionals do,” said A.J. Straw on lead guitar, referring to himself and bassist Stu Ford.
Sol de Luna has drawn in a different kind of crowd on Wednesday nights at Lil Bo’s, Capone said.
“If you go to some of the bars around town, when they book a band it’s some kind of hard-rock band, and someone around the age of 30-50 doesn’t really want to listen to that,” Capone said.
Sol de Luna also draws in a number of swing dance and samba instructors on Wednesday nights.
“There are four instructors that come almost religiously with their girl partners,” Straw said. “It’s a real energy rush when people are getting tossed around.”

Sol de Luna performs jazz, swing, blues, and samba; they also specialize in a Latin style of music called bossa nova. Most of the songs they play are covers that originated in the 1950s and 1960s.
“Its fresh again; music has just gone so simple for so long, This music, the recording and the melodies are just timeless,” said Ashley MacTavish lead vocals.
Bossa nova is a Brazilian style of music that originated in the 1950s. It combines basic drum rhythms and beats that are common to samba along with jazz guitar chords.
“If you look at the history of the music, when bossa nova first came out, it had a huge impact on American jazz,” said drummer Andy MacTavish.
Sol de Luna offers many Latin cover songs. They also cover blues and jazz classics such as “Georgia” by Ray Charles, and “Moon-Dance” by Van Morrison. Sol de Luna sings seven songs in Portuguese including “The Girl from Ipanema.”

Straw, 28, lives in Traverse City, and studies music theory at Northern Michigan University. He and Steve Michanowicc, a former member of Bo Bossa, could be found frequently at open-mic nights around the area and at Lil Bo’s. Michanowicc is currently in Iraq serving with the National Guard.
“It was because of Steve that we even got a gig in the first place. We miss him a lot,” Straw said.
Capone was so impressed with Straw and Michanowicc’s performances that he was willing to give them a regular night.
“Steve and A.J. would always wait to the very end to go up there and play, because they play a different kind of music and Steve was so shy,” Capone said.
Straw and Michanowicc also frequently played at Jacob’s Well, a late night coffeehouse, in Traverse City. This is where they met Ashley MacTavish, 28, a nanny by day, lounge singer by night, and her husband, drummer Andy MacTavish. Ashley is the third member of the band who studies music at NMU.
“I have pictures of myself holding a guitar when I was just an itty-biddy-little baby and I remember being about two-and-half singing up on stage with my dad.”
MacTavish would step in and sing for the guys at Jacob’s Well. This is also how they met their conga player Matt Toler.
Now they needed a bass player.
Stu Ford a sophomore at Elk Rapids high school is dual-enrolling at NMU specializing in music and jazz band. Ford got his start in music through piano, but he said it never really appealed to him.
“I kind of wanted to get into that rock thing,” Ford said.
Sol de Luna will be playing at Lil Bo’s every Wednesday night through July 5. They can also be seen this summer at Red Mesa Grill in Traverse City and the Harbor Days Festival in Elk Rapids.

Eric Pokoyoway is a summer intern at Northern Express who is covering local music and general assignment stories.
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