Faruq Z. Bey, a founding member of Griot Galaxy, a band referred to as 'the best band that never left Detroit', has been active on the Detroit music scene as a performer since the early 1970s. He started his career as a professional musician in 1960. Since then he has performed with Abdullah Ibrahim, Leroy Jenkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Roy Brooks, and Archie Shepp.
Northwoods Improvisers first came together in 1976. Early versions of the band played totally collective electro-acoustic improvised music. Around 1980 the band switched to an all acoustic instrumentation which has remained to this day. Mike Gilmore and Mike Johnston were founding members of the ensemble. Nick Ashton joined in 1986.
In 2000 the group began colaborating with Bey. Mike Carey a long time Bey collaborator joined the ensemble in 2002.
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