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Dawn Drake


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An active musician in the NYC eclectic music scene, Dawn Drake is a percussionist, bass player, singer and composer who also leads a band called ZapOte, a “worldbeat-meets-funk” ensemble which breaks down cultural barriers by incorporating everything from Afro-Cuban jazz to hip-hop to samba into a soul-shaking mix with her original lyrics of love, environmental and social justice.
She studied percussion in Ghana, then went on to pursue Afro-Cuban percussion and sacred Batá drumming in Cuba and in NYC, as well as samba percussion in Brazil. She holds a Masters degree in Ethnomusicology and an MFA in Composition and Performance. Currently, in addition to directing ZapOte, she also plays with several artists from NYC, West Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean and she is a regular accompanist at Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. She also plays with New York based bands Fulaso, As Lolas, Paprika, The Plaster Cramp, Feeling Irie, Green Mambo and more.
Dawn performs globally with her group ZapOte and you can find her original music at Her two full-length albums are available on CD Baby:, as well as on Itunes:
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