Luna Mantra to perform at student center

Home 2008 archive Luna Mantra to perform at student center

Rachel Strehlow

Published: October 12, 2005

World beat, in the form of Luna Mantra, comes to the Pensacola Campus Oct. 13.  The concert is part of PJC’s 2005-2006 Lyceum series and begins at 7 p.m. at the student center, bldg. 5 on the Pensacola campus.

The Pensacola-area band, composed of current and former PJC students, was formed more than a year ago, and recently returned  from a nearly month-long tour in Colorado.

Luna Mantra consists of brothers Joshua Kinser, percussionist and Michael Kinser, guitarist and songwriter, as well as Northwest Florida bluegrass fiddle champion and flute player Will Fink.

The group performs jazz, flamenco, gypsy, bossa nova, bluegrass, tango and reggae, using instruments such as the Spanish guitar and gypsy violin.

“I would describe us as a progressive world fusion trio and we explore a variety of cultural music from tango to Middle Eastern, African, jazz, funk, and flamenco,” Joshua Kinser said. “We fused traditional music with more modern rhythms and melodies.  About 80 percent, or maybe more, is all original music.  Only our bluegrass songs are covers.”

Michael Kinser, the group’s songwriter, said, “I draw [my inspiration] from all my life experiences, desires, hopes of the future.”

Luna Mantra, which draws its name from the word “sacred sound,” entertains people of all ages.

“We have a very wide fan base from literally elementary school kids to 80 year-olds,” Kinser said.

Earlier this year, the band performed for Ballet Pensacola.  Taiwanese choreographer Lee Wei Chou, set dance to world music for the event.  The group received a standing ovation.

“It was very progressive for ballet,” Joshua Kinser said.  “You don’t see anyone else do it.  Our music is very emotional and very heavily rhythmically complex so it’s the perfect platform for ballet.”

The trio has future performances booked at Imagos Art Gallery in Pensacola as well as with Ballet Pensacola again.

“We’ll be going into the University of West Florida studio at the end of October. They’ve asked us to come out and do a recording with them. We’ll be featured on a live television program or live hurricane Katrina benefit fund raiser on Cox Cable,” Joshua Kinser said.

The band also expects to be touring around the country by next year playing outdoor festivals and art galleries and performance halls.  Plans also include tours in Hawaii and Europe, Joshua Kinser said.

Those who have seen Luna Mantra perform are enthusiastic in their praise.

“These guys are fantastic! I would recommend them to anyone,” said Bobby Ball, artistic director at Ballet Pensacola.

For PJC ticket information call 484-1847.

Leave a Reply