"ZapOte" is a Female-fronted Latin, Brazilian and World Music Duo/Trio/Band. We specialize in Afro-Cuban salsa, cha-cha, cumbias, merengue, kompa and soukkouss, afro-beat, samba, bossa nova and more.
Taking its name from a luscious fruit in Cuba also known as "mamey",
"ZapOte" is lead by Dawn Drake, a female bassist/conguera/singer/songwriter and composer who manages to wear several hats while setting the scene with her own brand of cool. Expect non-stop dancing to these irresistible grooves of Latin percussion, funky bass, swinging horn lines and improvisation.
"[They] were the hit of the season!" - Beth Flusser, Talent Buyer for The Third Street Music Summer Concert Series
"This saucy debut by soul sistah Dawn Drake is an incredible gift to the world of world music!
She skillfully weaves together her bold poetic lyrics, melodic vocals, and a fusion of danceable rhythms performed by herself and a very talented band of musicianados.
You'll love the horns, the deep bass, the compelling percussion..."
Luis Da Silva, Jules Bistro, NYC
"Dawn Drake and her band ZapOte are at the beginnings
of a fascinating journey to enthusiastically bridge
chasms of cultural and gender disconnect that plagues
so much of pop music's body politic.
To hear them is to imagine early period jam sessions
between Laura Nyro and Carole King with Sly Stone
and Sergio Mendes sitting in.
Theirs is a playfully intense dynamic that needs to be
seen more"-Darrell McNeill, Director, Black Rock
Coalition, Curator Brooklyn Academy of Music Cafe
About Dawn Drake and ZapOte:
This band has gone far and wide for the short period of time that it
has been together. Formed in 2005 to record the original songs of Dawn
Drake, the band shortly thereafter started to play venues in and around New York City, including the prestigious Brooklyn Academy of Music Cafe Live series, as well as Women's Week at Medgar Evers College, a residency on NYC's legendary Bleecker Street at Wicked Willy's, and DROM, Manhattan's Best World Music venue. Currently, they play funky SOHO's L'Orange Bleue Monday Night DRUMS series several times a month, as well as Jules Bistro, Esperanto, Oliva and NUBLU in Manhattan.
An active musician in New York City's African, Brazilian and Latin
music scene, Dawn Drake started her career as an electric bassplayer
and percussionist, but now she is known first and foremost as a
singer-songwriter, composer and bandleader.
Dawn began traveling and studying world music at the University of Ghana, West Africa where she lived for a year. Upon moving to New York City, she started to play bass and percussion with groups which have included Obini Ashe; The Femm Nameless, who opened for The Roots and who toured England; Jojo Kuo, former drummer for Fela Kuti; Páprika who has opened for Patti LaBelle and Toshi Reagon, and Manmzel, who toured Canada and the east coast, with a hit single in the French Caribbean.
Dawn studied and played congas and batá in Cuba, and samba percussion in Brazil, where she played in Rio de Janiero's Carnaval. She has shared the stage with Me'shell N'degeocello, Cyro Baptista, Trey Anastasio, Mo'Guajiro, Los Jovenes del Barrio, Kokolo, Jorge Alabê and
members of Antibalas. She has appeared on The CBS Early Show, and
Telemundo TV, PBS, WBAI, and played stages such as Symphony Space,
SOB's, The Zinc Bar, Rockefeller Center's Rainbow Room, Radio City
Music Hall, BAM CAFE, The Walker Art Center, Michigan Womyn's Music
Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Festival. "Dawn Drake & ZapOte" have
performed live on WBAI, KPFA Pacifica Radio in Berkeley, Ca, KUSP in Santa Cruz, and WTJU in Charlottesville. They have toured Europe, as well as the East and West Coast
playing well-known venues like The Gravity Lounge, in Charlottesville,
Va; Toad's Place in Richmond, Va; Jupiter in Berkeley, Ca.; and the
Brookdale Lodge in Brookdale, Ca. They were featured performers in the
multi-city Bluemont Concert Series in Virginia, 2008, the Wisteria Cornstalk Festival, Culturefest WV and the Downtown Berkeley Music Festival in 2009.
Dawn and the band "ZapOte" have also appeared in the Winchester Star
and the Eureka Times Standard, and Dawn herself has appeared in The
Village Voice, Park Slope 24/7, and GO Magazine. The band's new EP "Love is Love" and Dawn's full-length album entitled "Cross-Crocodiles" are available for purchase at CD Baby.
Dawn Drake (bass, vocals, percussion),
Yayoi Ikawa (keys),
Arei Sekiguchi (drums),
Terry Dame (Sax),
Jackie Coleman (Trumpet)