Meklit's core band is....
Grammy award nominated drummer/percussionist/educator Colin Douglas was born in New York City into a musical family. As the son of a music producer, he grew up experimenting with many different instruments and soon settled on drums and percussion. Mr. Douglas went on to study percussion at both the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music as well as Manhattan School of Music where he worked extensively in both the classical percussion and jazz drumset programs. After college he became interested in the world of latin percussion and studied both in Cuba as well as with many master percussionists in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he has lived and played professionally for 16 years. Mr. Douglas has performed and recorded with a diverse group of musicians ranging from latin acts such as Jesus Diaz y su Qba, Ray Obiedo, and the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet, with whom Mr. Douglas received a grammy nomination in 2013, to R&B and rock acts such as Donna Summer and Slash.
Howard Wiley is the type of person who exemplifies the word “character” from both sides of the spectrum…by having it, and by being one. Always willing to take the music or the conversation to the next level, it’s rare to end the music, or the conversation, without a smile on your face.
Born in Berkeley, California, Howard Wiley displayed the seeds of his musical talent at a very young age. Wiley found himself playing in the most nurturing of all environments for young African American musicians; the church. Throughout the history of jazz, the church has been root and center of the community, giving musicians, worshipers, and preachers alike the freedom and comfort to express themselves in the celebration of life. Wiley’s music is a direct reflection of his youth which gives his music a level of simplicity, honesty and integrity. He has developed into a very complete artist in the sense that he possesses a great awareness of the past while he continues to make statements and ask questions into the future.
MARCO PERIS COPPOLA
Marco Peris Coppola is a Italian band leader, booking agent, creative strategist, and percussionist focused on the Tupan/Davul, an old world drum found in countries as diverse as India, Bulgaria, Egypt and Brazil. His musical trajectory is centered in Balkan sounds and rhythms, though his history includes years as co-leader of a Samba troupe, and a decade of playing Brass music across Italy, Argentina and the US. Marco is the mastermind behind the beloved Bay Area powerhouse Inspector Gadje, and he is one of the forces behind the Kafana Balkan series, described by the SF Weekly as “The best crazed Balkan Brass Band dance party.”
Since moving to San Francisco in 1999, Sam Bevan has established himself as one of the most versatile and creative bassists in the Bay Area. Bevan is able to canvas a large musical landscape where jazz, funk, r&b, folk and Afro-Cuban disciplines joyously intermingle. His sound is in response to the history of modern jazz, yet it’s his composer’s ear which informs his overall concept. Bevan explains, “Since I began my musical life as a pianist, including experiences composing and arranging for pop/rock, jazz and salsa bands, I have gained a much broader sense of the role of the bass. I am very content providing support and feel as a part of the rhythm section, as well as listening for appropriate moments to push the music into new territory. My goal is to introduce interpretations of the music which are interesting and creative without compromising the lead melodic instrument."