ABD is :
Craig Teigen - Drums, Block, Shekere
Greg Malone - Bass
Matthew Sargis - Guitars, Vocals
Juju Namjai - Shekere, Vocals
David Semien - Guitars
John 'Fingaz' Caldwell - Keys, Vocals
Dave Arrollado - Baritone & Tenor Sax, Flute
Charmian Callon - Flute
Mike Battaglia - Trumpet
Rami Raheb - Doumbek
Simon Thomsen - Congas, Percussion
Tom Burbank - Block
Very Special Guests :
Andius Jent - Bass
Anthony Gonzales - (Nafro) Congas, Block, Vocals
Jamie Allensworth - (Nafro) Shekere, Block, Vocals
Robert Easton - (Delta Nove) Guitars, Congas, Vocals
Rob Covacevich - (Delta Nove) Sax, Clarinet, Vocals
John Harrington (Delta Nove) - Trumpet
In November 2002, Afrobeat Down was born out of an idea for a Fela tribute show....kinda like a one time thing, ya know.. I called up Craig and Travis and we had our first rehearsal. 3-piece afrobeat! Dave joined on the Bari Sax, and we started borrowing musicians from other working bands. After a month, we played a show at the Que Sera in our home town, Long Beach, Ca. About 15 of us showed up to play. From that point, we started rehearsing Fela covers once a week. Most of the rehearsals would have about 3-5 of us, but we made the most of it. We recorded 3 Fela songs at Craig's garage/ studio in Signal Hill (the little city inside of LB). We sent it around to clubs, events, and DJs like Garth Trinidad (KCRW) and Nnamdi (KPFK). We started to get shows at the Temple bar and Fais do do in LA. We kept playing in LB at the Prospector and eventually got a monthly spot at Que Sera with Stephen Hodges group (Tom Waits, David Lynch, Smashing Pumpkins). By November 2003, we were officially a 12 piece Afrobeat Unit, complete with original tunes. We are currently in the studio and on stage through out Los Angeles trying our best to keep the Afrobeat burning on the west coast. We are trying to bring Fela's music to as many as possible, putting our focus on Community events (nextaid.org, ri.org, savethechildren.org). We were transormed as a band on March 18th, 2004. It was on this day that marked a truely inspirational event for us as a band. We were incredibly blessed to share the stage with Sandra Izsadore (Fela's Africa '70 and original singer of "Up Side Down"). Since the show, she has sat in with us on many occasions, and given us her full support. We are blessed to have her be apart of ABD. She is truly inspirational for Afrobeat music everywhere! Her Husband, Byron McNeish, produced our new record, "Lamp of the Body". We have played FELA KUTI DAY 4 years STRONG in '03, '04, '05, & '06 (Leimert Park, LA. October). We have been featured in JOINTZ magazine, Jambase.com, & Fly Global Music Culture Magazine. We have played with & LOVE Delta Nove, Ozomatli, Aphrodesia, Sila & the Afrofunk experience & DJ Nnamdi. We played live on KPFK 90.7 FM (afrodicia.com) in January 2006.
Lately (06-07) we have been selling out venues in SF whenever we make the journey up there (Afrofunk music festival 3 years going strong). Bands like Daktaris, Antibalas, and Tony Allen's group have inspired us to keep the organic Afro-Beat scene ALIVE in LA. We are HEAVILY influenced by the music of FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI. We want to play for YOU. We want to make you DANCE. We want to keep you POSITIVE. We feel a need for more CONSCIOUS people in this world...especially here in Los Angeles. If you feel the need to shake your nyash, come on out to experience Los Angeles' premiere Afro-beat ensemble.
"...Oppressors, Destroyers, masochists can never be great people. Creativity, not destruction, should be the yardstick of greatness. If you cannot create anything that will make your own life, or that of a fellow human, happier, then get out of the way. Split! Disappear! And give others a chance."