American musician Ray Lugo is well-known to groove connoisseurs around the globe, having released critically acclaimed music both as a solo artist, as well as with his long standing groups: Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra, Ray Lugo & The Boogaloo Destroyers and new projects: Terrificos, and Ray Lugo’s L.E.S. Express.
His volume of work contains 12 albums in a variety of music genres, and he has collaborated and performed with artists such as Manu DiBango, Joe Bataan, Charlie Hunter, Seun Kuti, Chic, Pete Rodriguez, Richie Ray, Kutiman, Sofrito, Gilles Peterson, BeatFanatic, Faze Action, Roy Davis Jr., Diesler, Lack of Afro, Shuya Okino, Souljazz Orchestra and with members of groups such as Peter Gabriel, Lauryn Hill, Matisyahu, Esperanza Spalding, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, King Sunny Ade, Burning Spear, Egypt 80, Grupo Fantasma, Antibalas and many others.
Lugo grew up in New York City, immersed in the vibrant and diverse downtown art and music scenes that inspire much of his work and shaped the strong DIY ethic he is known for. He has per-formed live in 35 countries on many legendary stages, from CBGB’s, Glastonbury, and Bonaroo to London’s Forum, The Montreal Jazz Festival and New York’s Lincoln Center.
In 2001, he formed the Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra, after becoming intrigued by West African Funk and the the music of Fela Kuti. Kokolo would go on to become a spearhead of the Nu-Afrobeat move-ment. Kokolo recently celebrated their 16th year anniversary and still perform live all over the world.
Ray’s long-held interest in the classic “Boogaloo” sound of 1960’s New York led him to form Ray Lugo & The Boogaloo Destroyers in 2011, culminating with the group’s critically-acclaimed debut album, “Mi Watusi”. Their follow-up album, “Que Chevere!”, broadened the band’s international appeal and saw them embraced by connoisseurs, fans and DJ’s alike in a range of new countries.
Lugo’s debut solo album, released in 2012, mixed the sounds of Bahia, Lagos, Kingston, San Juan, and Harlem all under one umbrella and further echoing Lugo’s eclectic tastes.
In 2015, Lugo formed “Terrificos”, a collaboration with film composer Jake Fader, blending Psyche-delic Chicha and Cumbia with Spaghetti-Western cinematic sounds. Their debut album, “Go South” was well received by critics.
The ever-prolific Lugo is scheduled to release four upcoming studio albums: his second solo al-bum, “Now”, Kokolo’s fifth studio album, “100 Fevers”, Terrifico’s second album, “Condor Super Boogie”, and his third album with the Boogaloo Destroyers.