Members: LuAnn, Steve,Tom
Jazz Flavored Jam Band
Original sounding music is in short supply these days, so its little
wonder that Lulus Ascent is making a name for itself in the Hudson
Valley and NYC area. Crossing the lines between pop, jazz, rock
and jam band while maintaining a consistent style is quite a feat; yet,
they cannot be labeled eclectic because they always sound like
themselves---often boldly going where no band has gone before. And
they actually write great, singable, memorable songs with interesting
changes, textures, and dynamics.
It all started when singer/songwriter LuAnn Arena performed at the Woodstock Guitar Festival in 2004 with drummer
Steve Olenski. He was so taken by her voice, songs, and bass playing that he immediately invited her to jam with him and
guitarist Tom Desisto. The blend of LuAnns sultry voice and funky bass with Toms liberal use of jazz harmonies floating
over Steves unconventional grooves was an immediate revelation for all three players and they committed to forming a
band within an hour. The more they perform the more the sound emerges and their excitement snowballs like a team of
scientists about to find a cure---they know theyre onto something.
As a solo act, LuAnn Arena traveled the US extensively. She has opened for well-known acts such as Martin Sexton,
Tower of Power, Melissa Ferrick, King Missile, Erica Wheeler, Southern Culture on the Skids, Jon&Mary (10,000
Maniacs duo) and the Woggles. LuAnn has been a finalist in the famed Eddies Attic songwriter shootout in Atlanta and
a recipient of ASCAPs Popular Awards panel distributions for independent writer members. Ellen Geisel wrote in Art
Times, NY that LuAnn never ventures into expected territory. Frank DeBlase of the City Newspaper, Rochester, NY
described her as having the seasoned muscle of a pro....and the seductive lilt of a fallen angel....
Guitarist Tom Desisto has played on, composed, and produced every kind of music one could imagine and has enjoyed
a multi-faceted career. Jonathan Demme included one of his songs Hey Natty on the soundtrack to The Truth About
Charlie. He co-wrote two songs with the famed Ben E. King for a recent album entitled Ive Been Around . He was
twice nominated for Emmy Awards for his compositions used on the CBS soap As the World Turns. Tom has scored
films and commercials for such varied clients as NASA, AT&T, Barbie, Bain Du Soleil, and many others (visit www.
desistomusic.com for a full resume) and has been the recipient of an Art Directors award and a Gold Special Jury Award
at the 2002 Houston Film Festival.
Drummer/Percussionist Steve Olenski is one of the Hudson Valleys most popular drummers. He has performed with a
variety of acts and has been in the pit for several local performances of Broadway Shows. Steve has also made a name for
himself as a drum tech and is often called into recording sessions as a Drum Doctor. The original style and sound that
he creates is an integral ingredient in Lulus Ascents musical stew.