Luminous vibes flow from Lumi’s strings


Six piece funk fusion band Lumi rocked the Presque Isle stage on Sept. 7 for the release of their first album, ‘The Elephant Never Forgets’. Over 100 community members attended. Photo by Caitlin Shampine

Caitlin Shampine

As the sun set, the energy rose in the crowd while the warm-colored lights
tattooed the trees. As soon as the drums started beating and the funk rock tunes floated through the air, people were head bobbing along. Marquette based band Lumi started to play a song from
their new album “The Elephant
Never Forgets.”

Lumi held their release concert on a large illuminated wooden stage from 6 to 10 p.m on Sept. 7 at Presque Isle where a crowd of over 80 people swayed their
bodies to their catchy tunes.

“It is important that people out there are having a good time, smiling, sharing that energy and moment,” guitarist and backup singer Ross Larson said.

Around two years ago, the six-member band got together. They started performing local gigs and posting their music
online. They just finished recording their first album at a studio in Grand Haven. Members Larson, keyboardist Tom Tarkelson and bass player Daniel LaBar were raised in Marquette and have played in the same streets since childhood.

“It’s a dream come true to be making music with them. I look over while we are playing and it feels surreal to be playing music with the people I grew up with,” Larson said.

“Home” is their most popular song, as the crowd sang the lyrics right back to the band. It was sparked after the band
left Marquette for a while and reminded them that Marquette is the place they
belong, Lumi said.

“We’re a bunch of Yooper boys,”
Larson said. “The song is about living here in the U.P. and just loving it.”
At the end of the month they are
going to be releasing a music video that they filmed for the song “Home,” which is going to be on a three-song EP that they are going to release late fall to early winter.

Lead vocalist Ethan Syria has a history with the Presque Isle stage. In 2001, he played with his father’s band Congress of Men and now over a decade later, he played with his own band.

“It makes me so happy to be back up on the stage,” Syria said.

In every band, scheduling is difficult, said drummer Wyatt Smith. This is
especially true for Lumi because they have six people who all live busy lives, so
finding a time that works for everyone is a

“Finding the time to practice isn’t easy, but we always make it work,” Smith said. “I feel like it’s a pretty unique situation to have six unmarried people in their late 20s who are all willing to commit time to this band and its future.”

“It was a lot of work going into this but it’s been a milestone recording this album,” lead guitarist Brandt said.
Lumi loves to encourage other young artists who are trying to gain momentum.

“Keep working at it, even though there are times you would rather be out doing something else, this is the most rewarding thing you could possibly be doing,”
Tarkelson said.

The band said to stay on the lookout for new music, as this won’t be the last fans hear from them. Their new album and information about upcoming concerts are available at

“Follow us. We are coming up with a lot of good music that could benefit
everybody,” Syria said. “We are trying to change the world with music.”