NEW BUFFALO — The band is called Warren Dunes, two of its three members are from New Buffalo, and on Wednesday, Aug. 7, the Seattle-based group played a well-attended concert on the New Buffalo Township Memorial Park Pavilion Stage.
Dominic Cortese (a 2008 New Buffalo High School graduate) is the drummer. Guitarist Jared Cortese (NBHS Class of 1999) and his wife, Julia Massey (lead singer and keyboardist) complete the trio.
Dominic described the band’s music as “post-modern beach rock.”
Massey noted that the goal is to “create a really fun, optimistic and positive vibe for the listeners.”
Dominic said the Warren Dunes moniker is a “great conversation topic, especially in the West when we’re playing shows there.”
“People always want to know what it is, then we get to tell them about this incredible park that we grew up right next to,” he said.
Dominic said he has lived in Seattle for 10 years, with Jared and Julia also having moved there. (Julia works as a nanny, Dominic is a barista and Jared teaches guitar).
Jared said he met Julia through the bass player he and his brother were playing with at the time in Seattle.
She was in a different band, they went to see her perform, and the rest is history.
“We played in separate bands for a long time, we got married (in 2012), had a kid (4 1/2-year-old Carl — who really likes the music of Harry Belafonte).”
About two years ago Jared said they decided they were ready to play in a band together, and Warren Dunes was formed.
The current tour (in support of the “Welcome to Warren Dunes” EP) has taken place in locales such as Kalamazoo, Goshen, Ind., and Michigan City, with the New Buffalo Township Memorial Park performance the seventh in the last two weeks.
“We’ve been spending the time catching up with family, seeing friends and playing some great shows,” Dominic said.
Julia said she has been to New Buffalo multiple times since marrying Jared, “and I love it every single time,” adding that the people at the Aug. 7 show are literally family or like family.
“And the beach is to die for, so it’s a wonderful get-away.”
She added that Carl loves going to Warren Dunes State Park and has been there a couple of times on this visit.
During the Memorial Park performance, it was announced that Dan and Treese Cortese (Dominic and Jared’s parents) were celebrating their 45th anniversary.