“Afrofunk with lunatic energy”
—National Public Radio (1/11/09)
"Chopteeth's debut CD takes the band from upbeat Swahili lyrics over a South African pulse one second ('Upendo'), to spaghetti Western-inspired instrumentals the next ('Herky Jerk'). True to the political essence at the heart of Fela's music."
“A hip-shaking debut album that truly has a jazz without
borders frame of mind.”
—Montreal Gazette (12/19/08)
A sensation--the dozen-plus member outfit cooks up a scintillating stew of Afrofunk, rumba, salsa, ska and funk.”
—The Washington Post (9/17/08)
“Wonderfully fresh. With absolutely no reservations, this is an outright success”
“Raging guitars, and rich, swaggering horns. Propulsive.”
—The Boston Globe (12/29/08)
“Infectious jazz grooves with a high degree of funkability.”
—Inside World Music (12/17/08)
“They cook. They dance. The organs are fat. The horn
section is beastly. Their LP is called Afrofunk Big Band.
—Washington City Paper (12/17/08)
Chopteeth is Washington, DC's award winning 14-piece Afrofunk orchestra. The group explores the common groove between the funkiest, most hip-shakin’ West African and American popular music on the planet.
The Washington Post calls Chopteeth “a storming powerhouse of big band African funk…smart, tight and relentlessly driving,” and their 2008 debut CD more than fulfills that billing.
Chopteeth is a swirl of energetic melodies and call-and-response choruses, driven by interlocking drums and percussion, and punctuated by a dynamic five-piece horn section. Funky organ and melodic guitars complete Chopteeth’s infectious sound, with band members stepping to the mic to serve up lyrics in a total of seven different languages.
The core of the Chopteeth sound is Afrobeat: a big-band funk invented by Fela Kuti in 1970’s Nigeria. Afrobeat is a spicy stew of modern jazz, Yoruba tribal music and burning, James Brown-inspired rhythms. But the band also mixes in classic Ghanaian dance tunes, Senegalese rumba, Kenyan classics and Jamaican ska and stirs it all thoroughly to create a massive groove. Chopteeth updates these African classics while remaining true to the spirit of the music and its message.
The debut recording includes seven original songs, plus two Ghanaian classics with a Chopteeth spin, along with a Fela cover gem. There are guest performances by Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Mali’s Cheick Hamala Diabate (a 2007 Grammy nominee), and Head-Roc (the “Mayor of DC Hip-Hop!”). “Chopteeth” makes a powerful statement while also getting people on their feet and dancing.