Appalatin’s sound is the unique blend of several cultures: part Latino, part Appalachian, but most importantly world. Their sound was described by journalist Alexander Clark Campbell as "... sunny, high-spirited, fun music, technically a cross-pollination of Appalachian folk and blues and various Latin American Sounds (primarily Andes & Coastal Central American) — specifically Rumba, Andean, Central American Folk, North American Folk, Blues, and Rock, Cuban, cha cha, samba, trova movement from the 60's & 70's, Cumbia, and Bluegrass — with some of their influences being Carlos Santana, Silvio Rodriquez of Cuba, Mercedes Sosa of Argentina, Old Crowe Medicine Show, Victor Jara of Chile, Bob Marley, Spain's Jarabe de Palo, and jam bands like the Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead.’
Their mission is to bring a message of a fair and just world, one of hope, joy and love. Appalatin’s fun and engaging acoustic sounds and world view inspire audience participation (dancing, singing, hand clapping and foot stomping) and make for a perfect contribution to any community, fundraising, educational or festival event.
The six-member band uses all acoustic instrumentation that features classical and steel string guitars; traditional Native wood flutes and pan flutes; harmonica; mandolin; charango (Andean ukelele); bass; and a myriad of percussion (congas, bongos, cajon, maracas, cow-bell and guiro to name a few).
While they call Louisville, Ky., home, each member has found a unique path to arrive there. The derivation of the name Appalatin represents the origin of the six members of the band: two members were born and grew up in the Appalachian region of Kentucky (though both individually lived in Latin America), two members were born and grew up in the Andean mountain region of Ecuador, and one member was born and raised in Nicaragua and one in Mexico.
The Kentucky representatives of the group include Steve Sizemore and Yani Vozos. Steve was born in Hazard, Kentucky and has spent several years learning the hand percussion styles of Latin America and the Caribbean through his study and living abroad in Chile and Argentina. Yani, born to a Greek father and Kentucky mother on a farm in Lee County, KY, brings to the group his guitar talents honed during his university studies around the world and Peace Corps experience in Honduras. The Latin component of the group includes Marlon Obando and Fernando Moya. Fernando is a native of Quito, Ecuador, and master musician of indigenous instruments from the Andean Mountains in South America. He has performed with the highly acclaimed music ensemble Andes Manta and toured throughout Ecuador and parts of the U.S., including a performance in Carnegie Hall. Marlon, a native of Nicaragua, brings his Central American and Caribbean influence to the group. Prior to moving to Louisville, he performed in various folk bands in Managua.