Moon Hooch

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Moon Hooch
Moon Hooch, RIBCO, November 2014.jpg
Moon Hooch performing in 2014
Background information
OriginBrooklyn, New York
GenresJazz fusion, nu jazz, cave music (self-defined)
Years active2010 (2010)–present
  • Wenzl McGowen
  • Michael Wilbur
  • James Muschler

Moon Hooch is an American band from Brooklyn, New York, known for their dance-oriented percussion- and saxophone-based music. The band is a trio consisting of drummer James Muschler and saxophonists Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen. The band members met while attending The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and got their start busking in New York City Subway stations.[1][2][3]

Their self-titled debut album was released in 2013 and peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.[4] Their second album This Is Cave Music was released on September 16, 2014.[5] and reached number 5 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.[6]


Early years[edit]

The band first started busking in 2010, playing in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The band started out playing mostly jazz, but then moved to dance music after a better audience reception. Later, they decided to busk in the New York City Subway. In the process they were banned from the Bedford station stop by the NYPD, who tried to prevent people from dancing on the platform edge.[7] In 2011 they appeared as the house band on the Australian TV series Hamish and Andy's Gap Year where they were re-christened "The Busketeers".[8] Their album artwork is designed by Ari Michael Warner.


After gaining a reputation from busking, Moon Hooch started to release albums, beginning with their self-titled debut on June 25, 2013. It was recorded in a 24-hour period at Bunker Studio in Brooklyn, and most of the copies were sold while the band was still busking.[9] Their second album, This is Cave Music, was released on September 16, 2014 and was the first to use synthesizers, post-production work, and vocals. It received positive reviews, and many reviewers commented on the band's unique style.[10] Their next album, Red Sky, would continue to use the same elements pioneered in This is Cave Music. Moon Hooch has been influential in the “brass house” genre, as well as pushing the boundaries of jazz. [11]


The band's second EP, following 2017's The Joshua Tree, was released on April 6, 2018, via Hornblow Recordings. The short three track EP was announced alongside the video for the first single of the album, "Acid Mountain."[12]


The band believes deeply in environmental causes. They are strongly passionate about environmentalism and sustainable living, and use their influence to share this philosophy with others. As such, they run a cooking blog, "Cooking in the Cave," in an effort to promote a vegan diet,[13] and have played as part of an exhibition titled, "The Value of Food: Sustaining a Green Planet".[14] In 2017, they announced that the band would be carbon neutral. Along with environmental activism, the band is also united in their practice of meditation. They say that it helps to give them focus, something they value in their work. The band also believes that meditation has allowed them to become better people.[15]


  • Moon Hooch (Hornblow/Palmetto, 2013)
  • This Is Cave Music (Hornblow/Palmetto, 2014)
  • Red Sky (Hornblow/Palmetto, 2016)
  • Joshua Tree – EP (Hornblow, 2017)
  • Live at the Cathedral (Hornblow, 2017)
  • Acid Mountain – Single (Hornblow, 2018)
  • Light It Up – EP (Hornblow, 2018)
  • Mon Santo – Single (Hornblow, 2018)
  • Moon Hooch & Tonio Sagan – Rise (2019)

Band members[edit]


  1. ^ Phull, Hardeep (25 January 2013). "From busking to Broadway". New York Post. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  2. ^ Hendrickson, Tad (7 August 2013). "A Band Builds an Underground Following". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Take a drink of Moon Hooch". 19 May 2015. Retrieved 2016-01-12.
  4. ^ "Moon Hooch – Moon Hooch: Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  5. ^ Levenson, Max Savage (7 September 2014). "First Listen: Moon Hooch, 'This Is Cave Music'". NPR. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Moon Hooch Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  7. ^ Phull, Hardeep (25 January 2013). "From Busking to Broadway". The New York Post. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Meet The Busketeers". Hamish & Andy. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Moon Hooch". Moon Hooch. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  10. ^ Levenson, Max Savage (7 September 2014). "First Listen: Moon Hooch, 'This Is Cave Music'". NPR. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  11. ^ Haider, Arwa. "How club culture and EDM inspired jazz musicians". Financial Times. Financial Times. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Moon Hooch Announces New EP & Shares Single". JamBase. 2018-03-23. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  13. ^ "Cooking in the Cave". Cooking in the Cave. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  14. ^ Laban, Linda (22 October 2015). "How Did a Brooklyn Band Wind Up Playing the Largest Cathedral in the World?". The Village Voice. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  15. ^ Rees, Thomas (13 August 2017). "Moon Hooch Interview \\"While we were dead the three of us left our bodies and went into an astral world"". Jazz Standard. Retrieved 11 December 2017.

External links[edit]