Dawn Drake & ZapOte

Four Women and one man posing with electric bass, guitar, and keyboard.

Dawn Drake is a percussionist, bass player, singer, composer, and leader of the band ZapOte, a "world beat-meets-funk" ensemble. ZapOte incorporates everything from Afro-Cuban jazz to hip-hop and samba, while Drake’s original lyrics range from love songs to themes of social justice. Drake has studied percussion in Ghana; samba percussion in Brazil; and Afro-Cuban percussion and sacred Batá drumming in both Cuba and in New York City. She holds an MA in Ethnomusicology and an MFA in Composition and Performance from the California Institute of the Arts. Drake is a professor at John Jay College, Brooklyn Music School, and New York City Public Schools. ZapOte has performed at The Kimmel Center, the Frauenstimmen Festival in Switzerland, the Belize International Jazz Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a U.S. Embassy tour in Belize, and other venues. The group recently released an album, "Nightshade."