|APHRODESIA returns to Santa Cruz bringing the big band Afrobeat party to Moe's Alley.
Aphrodesia's extraordinary sonic stew encompasses touches of Afrobeat, Highlife, dub, funk, Caribbean spice and East African trance music, all with the captivating vocal stylings of Lara Maykovich as their focal point. After living in Ghana and Zimbabwe during 1997 and ’98, where she studied and performed with members of Akrowa Dance Ensemble of Ghana. the National Music and Dance Company of Zimbabwe and many others, Maykovich returned to Boulder, Colorado, where she sang with The Motet and performed with Boubacar Diabet. She met bassist Ezra Gale soon after moving to the Bay Area in 2002, and the pair then recruited a stellar supporting cast that now includes guitarists Chris Mulhauser and David Sartore, percussionist Paul Sonnabend, the horn section of Todd Grady, Liz Larson and Marcus Stephens, the backing vocals of Nicole Rodriguez and Maya Dorn and the inimitable rhythms of the drummer known only as Slapsaw.
Aphrodesia’s music carries with it a strong sense of social justice, and the band has been known to write their own politically-charged lyrics while updating Fela Kuti classics like ‘No Agreement’ and ‘Zombie’. But the band’s commitment to social change extends offstage as well. Having headlined numerous benefits for causes ranging from AIDS prevention to Tsunami Relief to anti-Iraq War organizations, Aphrodesia is devoted to 'walking the walk as well as talking the talk'. Believing that alternative energy is necessary both to protect our planet's environment and to reduce America's dangerous dependence on foreign oil, the band proudly travels in a vegetable-oil powered bus- meaning it’s one of the few groups of any stripe not sponsored by Chevron, Texaco, and co. It may be a small start, but the group believes that its actions, like its music, can have a huge effect.