Dawn Drake began her education in percussion in Ghana, where she then moved on to study Afro-Cuban batá and conga drumming in Cuba and in New York City, in addition to samba percussion in Brazil.
She graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a Master of Arts degree in Composition and Performance as well as a Master of Arts degree in Ethnomusicology. She is now playing bass and congas with musicians from all over the world, in addition to being the director of her band ZapOte, which she leads.
She is a teaching artist and performer for the US Embassy, NYC public schools, and the Brooklyn Arts Council, focusing on programmes that celebrate diversity, global rhythm, youth empowerment, and women’s empowerment through music. Her area of expertise is Caribbean music, and she teaches this subject at John Jay College.
The multifaceted music scene in New York City has Dawn Drake as an active participant. She is the leader of the band ZapOte, where she performs as a percussionist, bass player, vocalist, and composer/songwriter.
The new song “Thinking about you” by Dawn Drake is an electro-acoustic and wistful track that was composed in remembrance of people who have passed away as a result of the worldwide pandemic and other conditions.
It is a tribute to all of those who passed away before we were ready for them to do so, and we will never forget them. There are some surprising elements of ukulele, conga, Nirvana-esque guitars, and electro effects that are new and remind one of Vampire Weekend and MGMT. The soundscape of the song fits nicely in with contemporary zouk and reggaeton rhythms from the Caribbean.
This new sound and cooperation, which was produced by Noah Dreiblatt (Karikatura, Scythian), hints that there may be more to come in the future.