IKO-IKO
IKO-IKO Back in 1981, Graham Wood Drout had the idea that bringing extremely diverse musicians together would create something new that was greater than the sum of its parts. More than 30 years later, his songs, and his band IKO IKO, show that this formula is extremely effective for his signature sound as he continues to musically reinvent himself.

Blending Drout's own roots in Texas, Brazil, New Jersey, and Miami, with those of his band mates create a sound described by The San Diego Tribune as "an eclectic mix of southern musical traditions" in a backbeat driven powerhouse blend of Blues, Rock, and Alt Country to create what Drout describes as "Urban Swamp Blues." A variety of artists cover his songs and he continues to receive awards including the Blues Critics Choice Award for Best Song.

IKO IKO has a sound that sets them apart, while feeling familiar. Their fan base includes 3 generations across 5 CD releases, 3 movie soundtracks, 1 musical, & countless performances with many of the legendary musicians of nearly every style of music imaginable. This is something special as IKO IKO continues to make lightning strike more than twice wherever they perform.

The band, itself, is award-winning and has movie soundtracks to their credit. "Don't Mess With The Voodoo" appeared, as did the band, in the Martin Scorsese film, Cape Fear starring Robert DeNiro and the band performed on the soundtrack for the film, Contact starring Jodie Foster.

Best Blues Band – New Times Magazine (both Miami & Broward/Palm Beach Editions)
Best Blues Band – CityLink Magazine – Staff Favorite
Florida Music Awards – Best Blues Band
Hidden Treasures of The Blues – Blues Revue Magazine
Best Songwriter – Graham Wood Drout – New Times Magazine
Best Blues Artist – Jammy Award
Inductees – The Underground Blues Hall of Fame
Blues Critics Choice Award – Song of the Year
Hidden Treasures of the Blues – Blues Revue Magazine
Florida Music Awards Best Blues Band – Jam Entertainment Magazine
Featured on NPR's Crossroads and Music of the Subtropics syndicated radio shows
Performed in Jimmy Buffett's musical, "Don't Start the Carnival"

Graham Wood Drout (Guitar, Lead Vocals) is the driving force, principal songwriter, and front man of the band. He was born in Newark, New Jersey where, at the age of five, he got a plastic Roy Roger's guitar and a 33-1/3rd LP recording of Western Swing music. All his life he has been dodging abnormal phenomena: From surviving floods to fires to hurricanes to lightning strikes and all forms and shapes of experience that would have caused many to quit in frustration; Drout persevered by turning all of that into powerful lyrics and driving rhythms for his music.

At the age of eight, Drout's family relocated to Houston, Texas and, after six painful years, he moved to Miami, Florida for the first time. Two years after that, his family's cultural aftershocks took him to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil where Drout farmed his musical diversity even further and, ultimately, he returned to South Florida. His collaborations continue as he works with veteran artists and discovers young talent that he helps cultivate.

John "Good Rockin' Johnny" Wenzel (Lead Guitar) originally hails from Santa Maria, CA. An incredible showman & gifted guitar player, John was a member of Fat Chance Blues Band and was the one who first hired Graham more than 30 years ago. As FCBB evolved into Iko-Iko, his textures and dynamic musical vocabulary drove both the songs as well as the powerful live shows. His performance credits include work with Good Rockin' Johnny & The Wise Guys, Nicole Yarling's Little Nicky & The Slicks, Off The Wall, Yonge Street Band, Big City Blues Band, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Sam and Dave, John Lee Hooker, Greg Allman, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughn, James Cotton, Buddy Guy, George Thorogood, Bobby Blue Bland, Koko Taylor, Alex Gomez, and many others.

Mitch Mestel (Bass Guitar, Background Vocals) was born in New Jersey, raised in Florida, lived in Nashville, and all of that provided him with a wealth of experience as a performer. His work includes performances with Charlie Pickett, Paul Deacon (The Mavericks), George Terry ((Eric Clapton), Alto Reed (Bob Seeger's Silver Bullet Band), Nico Wayne Toussaint, Albert Castiglia, Mary Karlzen, Jolynn Daniel, The Volunteers, Patxi Pastor, Diane Ward, Alex Gomez, Val C. Wisecracker and The Walkin' Catfish, Roll The Stones, Jon Paris (Les Paul, Bob Dylan) and Diamond Teeth Mary with The Beale Street All-Stars. He has performed countless studio sessions, appears in a variety of music videos for the artists he has performed with, and even had a cameo in the cult-horror film, "Lycanthrope." Mitch's playing and singing work is tireless, energetic, and always entertaining.

Ron Taylor (Keyboards) is a Grammy Award-winning artist who started his musical career at the age of 16 performing with local bands in Central Florida, including the Tight Shoes Band fronted by the late, great bluesman, Big Dave Fiester. He moved to South Florida and began his professional engineering career with KC (of the Sunshine Band). He followed that up spending the next several years on tour with The Bellamy Brothers, also co-writing two Top 5 Country hits with them. Ron has performed with a huge range of celebrated musicians that includes The Florida Buttrockers, The Legendary Groove Monsters, Billy Joel, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Carlos Vives, Luis Fonsi, David Bisbal, Alto Reed (Bob Seger Silver Bullet Band), George Terry (Eric Clapton), Steve Thorpe, The Blues Entourage and many others. Ron has also worked behind the mixing console with some of music's legends including Frank Sinatra, Phil Ramone, Gloria Estefan, Donna Summer, 2 Live Crew, Timbaland, P. Diddy, Madonna, Chris Cornell, Britney Spears and others. His unique combination of old school and new school styles bring his soulful sound and dynamic flavor to his powerful performances.

Nicole Yarling (Violin, Background Vocals) was born in New York City to a musical family that helped to shape her own musical style into a wonderful hybrid of Jazz, Blues, Soul, Rock, and Americana. As a solo artist, a featured performer, or as a band-member, her signature sound is her trademark. Her musical contributions include performances with Art Blakely, Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, Terrance Simmien, Jimmy Buffett, and her band Little Nicky & The Slicks that featured Iko-Iko’s John Wenzel. The great Joe Williams is credited with discovering her and showcased her talents on the release, "Joe Williams Presents Nicole Yarling at The Manchester Craftsman's Guild." Her work also includes being an educator at Florida Memorial University / University of Miami, as well as other schools, to help bring musical heritage and culture to students of all ages. Nicky performed on Iko-Iko's 2002 release, "Shine," and returned to join the band in 2011.

Daniel East (Drums, Background Vocals) is a product of the famed Philadelphia High School for The Creative & Performing Arts, as well as having an extensive background in tour production and professional audio. His "Philly Sound" approach to performing is one that combines solid backbeats with a soulful feel and natural groove. Dan has toured, performed and/or recorded in many styles of musical artists including his own Daniel East Band, John Mooney, Gerald Levert, Warren Caesar, Christina Christian (American Idol), Delmar Brown, Patxi Pastor, George Terry (Eric Clapton), Alto Reed (Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band), Nico Wayne Toussaint, Alex Gomez, PBS' Blues Slide Guitar Workshop, Albert Castiglia, Glen Burtnik, JC Faulk, Billy Mann, The Soul Survivors, Eric Bazilian, Fernest Arceneaux, and many others.