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Appalatin Bio

Appalatin’s foot-stomping, hip-swinging sounds organically unite Appalachian folk and high-energy Latin music. The name, Appalatin, reflects the unexpected meeting in Louisville, KY of Kentucky-raised musicians and masterful Latin émigrés from Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Their all-acoustic performances of traditional stings of guitar, mandolin, upright bass, and charango, indigenous Andean flutes, hand percussion, harmonica and vocal harmonies have brought joy and happiness to listeners of all ages.

 

In May of 2013, the band released its second studio album, Waterside. The album features original music and interpretations of traditional songs from their native regions of Kentucky, Central America, and the Andes. On the new album, Appalatin follows their instincts with a bilingual shift between languages, styles, and vibes. From the seriously Americana-inflected title track "Down by the Waterside" and “Danville Breakdown”, to upbeat acoustic Latin “La Linea”, to the outright Andean traditional tune “Alpa Mayo” and Fernando Moya’s Quechua contribution, “Ñuka Shungo,” Appalatin’s infectiously danceable tunes spring from the band’s shared love of roots music.

 

After starting out playing a weekly show at a local coffee shop for free coffee in 2006, the band has since performed at some of their region’s most prestigious stages and venues. Since the release of their first album in 2011, the band has shared the stage with Red Baraat, Sam Bush, Claire Lynch, The Black Lilies, Dubtonic Kru, Ben Sollee, and Andrea Davidson. They have performed at the RiverRoots Music and Folk Arts Festival (IN), CityFolk Festival (OH), Worldfest (KY), Culturefest (WV), and in May of 2013, they had the honor of performing before 10,000+ people in Louisville’s Yum! Center at the Dalai Lama’s Public Talk. They have also appeared on radio shows such as Michael Jonathon's Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, Red Barn Radio, 91.9 FM WFPK’s "Live Lunch", Kentucky Homefront and were featured on West Virginia Public Radio’s “Inside Appalachia.” In addition, the track “Alpa Mayo” from their Waterside album has appeared on PRI’s “The World.”

 

In the last half of 2013, the band is expanding their reach beyond Louisville with regional shows and festivals, preparing for upcoming showcases, and filming a new official music video. They are also in the process of working with producer Tom Thurman for the PBS affiliate Kentucky Educational Television documentary film on the band.

 

Fernando Moya - Indigenous Flutes and Charango

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.
   

Yani Vozos - Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals

  Yani, born to a Greek father and Kentucky mother grew up on a farm in Estill County and later Richmond, KY.  He brings to the group his guitar talents honed early as a student of blues phenom Kelly Richey and later during his university studies in Pittsburgh and eventually with travels throughout the world including a Peace Corp experience in Honduras.  

Marlon Obando - Guitar, Vocals

  Marlon, a native of Nicaragua, brings his Central American and Caribbean influence to the group through his songwriting. Marlon learned to play traditional Nicaraguan folk music with his brothers, fine tuned his skills as a protest singer, and founded the group Ocarina in Nicaragua.

Luis De Leon - Harmonica, Güiro, Timbales, Maracas, Percussion

  Luis is originally from Mexico and Guatemala. A professional journalist, Luis got started with music in Guatemala City with flamenco, rock, blues and folk bands. He has participated in dance and theatre performances in festivals in Mexico, Berlin and Guatemala.

Steve Sizemore - Congas, Bongos, Cajón

 

Steve was born in Hazard, Kentucky where he began his musical journey at an early age playing the piano. He has studied and performed in various ensemble styles of percussion, including West African and Brazilian samba. Through his study and living abroad in Chile and Argentina, he expanded his knowledge of Andean and other Latin American styles.  Steve is also a professional urban planner and adjunct instructor at the University of Louisville.  

José Oreta - Bass

  José is a native of Appalachia. He began playing bass at the age of 13, and his passion for music has remained steadfast. His musical background includes extensive study of jazz, bluegrass, and Brazilian music.