Chris Hadfield performed a version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on the International Space Station (his performance has nearly 50 million views on YouTube). Cady Coleman performed a flute duet with Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson from outer space. And Steve Robinson played his guitar on the Space Shuttle while weightless, performing for his crewmates.
Bandella has been performing for over 18 years. Music isn’t their day job; while performing two sets of professionally-rendered folk, Americana, bluegrass and jazz, the band shares tales from their years in the astronaut corps, complete with a Q&A session. Featuring inspired vocals, acoustic guitars, flute, stand-up bass, piano and an occasional banjo, Bandella’s music nods to the astronaut life in ways both subtle and authentic.
“Bandella was formed in a basement bar in Star City, Russia in 2003,” notes Hadfield (Hadfield, Robinson, and Coleman all trained with the Russian Space Program, in conjunction with NASA). While the band hails from Houston, Texas, “we’ve played all over– Kansas City, Star City, Canada, even linked from Earth while band members were out in orbit. And, of course, Bandella has played all over Houston.”
The band personnel are:
Chris Hadfield is a retired Canadian astronaut and bandleader, singer, rhythm guitarist, and long-time folk musician. Popular on the lecture circuit, he is the author of four books, including The Apollo Murders, an international best-seller in 12 languages, shortlisted for the prestigious Wilbur Smith award, and is being made into an eight-part TV series.
Here’s his YouTube performance of Space Oddity:
Cady Coleman is a retired NASA astronaut, a highly sought-after speaker, and a contributor to ABC for space-related news. In addition to playing a space duet with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, she also brought flutes to the space station for the acclaimed Irish band The Chieftains and has often played with them here on earth.
Steve Robinson is a retired NASA astronaut, Sacramento native, a professor at University of California, Davis, and a multi-instrumentalist on acoustic lead guitar, banjo, and stand-up bass.
Dan Burbank is a long-time vocalist and guitar/bass player, singing with the Coast Guard’s The Idlers, and the all-astronaut rock band MaxQ. He flew in space 3 times, commanded the Space Station, and now builds moonwalking spacesuits with Collins Aerospace.
Micki Pettit brings a big jazz-&-show tune voice to every show; she is married to an active NASA astronaut and recently published her first novel “A Kiss for Maggie Moore” with Black Rose Writing.