I don't really allow fear much input in my decisions. I think there are still a lot of misconceptions about Africa stemming from colonial mentalities. I lived in Africa for a year, and it was one of the most incredibly heart-opening times of my life. I find the concept of having and thus needing to protect what you have very draining. The African people were the most generous, open people I have ever met, and because they had so little, they were free to have so much love and presence. They had themselves, rather than a small part of themselves weighted under mountains of possessions and responsibilities.
-Lara Maykovich
Lara Maykovich (Aphrodesia) by Tracy Notaro

"I'm excited about completing the circle of the Afrobeat legacy," continues Sartore. "It started in West Africa and has taken root in the U.S. and in Europe over the past ten years pretty strongly. Now, we're honored to take it back there and to show the people how it has influenced our music. I'm also excited about confronting and breaking down some race and cultural issues. We don't even need to talk about this stuff. The language of music spells it out clearly. There is no 'us' and 'them.'"

In no small way, Aphrodesia travels to Ghana as musical ambassadors – showing Africans that all Americans aren't the mindless, imperialist blobs that television and presidential politics make us out to be.

"Music is the one thing in the world besides food that literally every human being on the planet has a relationship with. Even if you've taken a vow of silence and live in a cave, I guarantee you're hearing music in your head," enthuses Gale. "So yes, I see us as ambassadors because every culture has music, and people have more of a familiarity and a bond with music and musicians than they do with politicians or tourists or soldiers. I think America has a very complicated image and history in West Africa. Many people want to move here to have a better life economically. Yet, I'm sure we're also seen as materialistic by many people, and I'm sure our politics and our wars and our history of racial inequality are not popular with many people over there. So who knows - if people over there meet these white Americans who have taken the time to learn their music and to travel to their country, maybe it will put a more human face on all of us. Or not."

Maykovich is a bit brighter in her assessment, "I am really proud to be finally returning to Ghana. I feel it is the full circle of a 12-year cycle from when I first started performing African music, to going there and learning an incredible catalogue of music and dance, from creating a most interesting collage from my own resources and finally collaborating with Aphrodesia to make an even more unique music that certainly has some roots in Ghanaian music. I will be happy to give back something to a culture that I received so much from, and I'm also very interested to see the Ghanaians' humor and excitement in receiving this reflection from us."

She continues, "Africa holds a cauldron of ancient forms of magic and ritual that make it a supernatural place where the interaction with spirits and forces of nature are almost commonplace. In that way, African spirituality is so close to the earth that it feels as if you just might brush by a ghost in the marketplace. It is a very wild place. In African music, it is the fundamental rhythms, the most basic building blocks of music, that remind the listener that he or she is really a part of the musical experience. The music holds so much vitality and energy that listening, dancing, and participating really become a transformational experience. African music comes straight from the heart to the heart and thus creates a community experience for everyone."

To find out more about Aphrodesia's tour of Ghana and to help with donations and other support, visit www.aphrodesia.org. The tour is already supported by Lonely Planet Books, Blue Gold For Life Inc. Water Treatment Systems, Real Goods, and Fat Tire Brewing but can use all the help it can get.

JamBase | Worldwide
Go See Live Music!


[Published on: 1/26/06]

Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!

You'll receive

show alerts

when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

free tickets

, gain the ability to

share your personalized live music calendar

and much more. Join JamBase!



Souljive starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/26/2006 06:52PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Proper. Positive Vibes AND a place in the cycle of the Afro-beat Legacy... is sickness. Definately keep eyes out for this band. Make Fela & Co. proud.

chefbyrne starstarstarstarstar Fri 1/27/2006 09:36AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

wish I could come along! Good Luck keep spreadin the good vibes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rpmills starstarstarstarstar Fri 1/27/2006 09:59AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

"all Americans aren't the mindless, imperialist blobs that television and presidential politics make us out to be"

Great line. Thanks for the article. Best of luck to Afrodesia.

k23orchestra Fri 1/27/2006 06:21PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Ezra is funny

totalot starstarstar Fri 1/27/2006 07:12PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Cool band that needs to grow a bunch. Maybe that trip to Africa will help. I have never seen them bring it to where I was impressed seems they change members alot so that may have something to do with it. Solid article.

kagan52 starstarstarstarstar Sat 1/28/2006 11:16AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I love the music. I love the spirit. Zach Carson is the best. good luck on your tour.

joshmillerphoto Tue 1/31/2006 03:00AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Say hello to some of the 150 or so Peace Corps Volunteers working in Ghana. You should try to post your schedule at their bureau. They can spread the word like no other toubob (white person) can...although 15 white people with instruments should be enough to spread the word all the way from Accra to Kumasi and back in one day flat. Wish you were coming to Mali to perform at the festivalsegou.org (omg, check this line-up out!!!) and the festival-au-desert.org (was there..it rocked, very sandy..still picking sand out of teeth). have a great time shakin' booty.

Duncan905 starstarstarstar Wed 2/1/2006 09:01AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Great writeup & interviews, I really dig this band
Safe travels!

neetostuffo starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/3/2006 10:25AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Catch APRODESIA at the LIBBEY BOWL in Ojai, CA on MAY 20!

DrFuzzy starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/3/2006 10:27AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Yeah Aphrodisia! I love you guys. Good luck in Africa from Bobby and Delta Nove!