Central African Republic RPCV Michael Shereikis is a singer and guitarist for Chopteeth
Chopteeth is an "old-school afrofunk orchestra, with a big horn section and the whole works," according to Shereikis. The music is a mix of Yoruba tribal music, Jamaican ska, Ghanaian funk and Senegalese rumba. The band consists of a five-piece horn section, a drummer, two percussionists, two guitarists, a bassist, a keyboardist and two singers. When I was in the Peace Corps, I started zeroing in on African guitar styles, then in New Orleans and Abidjan," Shereikis said. "Making rhythmic music is always something I've just done. I pursued (guitar) in my second or third year of college."
Chopteeth performed in January at the inauguration of Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. The band also played at a wrap party for the HBO series "The Wire" and at Washington's Kennedy Center.
The band has been nominated by the Washington Area Music Association for four Wammie awards, including Best World Music Group. Members expect to finish recording their first compact disc by summer's end.
Shereikis composes most of the music for Chopteeth, which he helped found in 2004. Shereikis and the band's other vocalist sing in at least seven languages or dialects, including English, French, Yoruba (Nigeria), Twi (Ghana), and Swahili (eastern Africa). Read more.
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