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Sample Track 1:
"Weigh Your Blessings" from Chopteeth
Sample Track 2:
"Upendo" from Chopteeth
Sample Track 3:
"Dog Days" from Chopteeth
Layer 2

Chopteeth Band Members

Chopteeth is a 12-piece Afrofunk orchestra exploring the common groove between the funkiest, most hip-shakin’ West African and American popular music on the planet.

The core of the Chopteeth sound is Afrobeat: a big-band funk invented by Fela Kuti in 1970’s Nigeria. Afrobeat is a spicy stew of modern jazz, Yoruba tribal music and burning, James Brown-inspired rhythms. 

Chopteeth then mixes in classic Ghanaian dance tunes, Senegalese rumba and Jamaican ska and stirs it all thoroughly to create a massive groove.  

The result is a swirl of energetic melodies and call-and-response  choruses, driven by interlocking drums and percussion, and punctuated by a dynamic five-piece horn section.  Funky organ and melodic guitars complete Chopteeth’s unique and infectious sound.

Chopteeth updates African classics while remaining true to the spirit of the music and its message. Band members step to the mic to serve up lyrics in a total of seven different languages.

In 2008, Chopteeth was voted Best World Music Group by their peers in the Washington Area Music Association.  Since emerging in 2004, the group has been honored with five other Wammie Award nominations including a 2007 nomination for Artist of the Year in addition to four nominations for Best World Music Group.  In 2007, readers of the Silver Spring and Takoma Park Voice voted Chopteeth Best Local Band.

Chopteeth can be seen regularly at top venues in the Washington, DC, Baltimore and Virginia areas, including The Kennedy Center, Strathmore Arts Center, The Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts, The 9:30 Club, The State Theatre, The 8x10 Club, The Black Cat, Iota, Jammin Java and many others.  The band has opened for critically acclaimed international artists including Chuck Brown, Konono No. 1, The Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, The Pietasters, Toubab Krewe, Brazilian Girls and Soulive.

Chopteeth also performs frequently at numerous area festivals including The Adams Morgan Day Festival, Artscape (Baltimore), The Baltimore Book Festival, The Baltimore Waterfront Festival, The Herndon Jazz Festival, The Takoma Park Folk Festival, The Takoma Park Street Festival and The Taste of Bethesda Festival.

Anna Mwalagho—vocals

Anna is an internationally recognized singer, dancer, actress, poet and storyteller, and she has performed professionally since the age of 8.  She won regional and national arts awards in her native Kenya, and performed for television and radio with the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation on HIV and AIDS-related productions.  Anna performed at the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize Reception at the Kenyan Embassy in Washington.  She has been featured in the highest profile DC venues including The Kennedy Center, The Embassy of Liberia, The Embassy of France, Dance Place, Studio Theatre, the Washington Convention Center, WPFW 89.3 FM, WHUR 96.3 FM and many others. She can be seen with the Soul in Motion Players, the Washington Performing Arts Society Gospel Choir, the Heartstrings Ensemble and the Washington DC Actors Center. Check out her website at

Michael Shereikis—vocals, guitar

Michael's deep fascination with various African guitar styles began as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic. He subsequently honed his skills playing with local recording artists in New Orleans and in Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire), while pursuing an advanced degree in ethnomusicology. He is a founding member of the Ivoirian group Zieti and is currently producing their debut release in the US for Rootstock Productions. In addition to his first love, the old-school afropop of Chopteeth, Michael gigs and records with several groups in the Washington DC area.  Michael can be reached at

Brian Simms—keyboards

An award-winning keyboardist, singer, and accordion player, Brian also leads Baltimore and DC’s renowned New Orleans funk band Junkyard Saints, and has toured and recorded with Rounder recording artists Disappear Fear.  He has recorded or shared the stage with many internationally-known artists such as  Indigo Girls, Deanna Bogart, Roomful of Blues, The Radiators, The Iguanas, Buckwheat Zydeco, Rachel Cross and more. Brian has music-directed and performed in a number of national touring and regional Broadway productions, and also writes and produces for the Saints as well as other artists in the mid-Atlantic region.  Brian is an accomplished, versatile studio and commercial musician, and is a graduate of Towson University’s music program.  He teaches independently and is a guest lecturer on the music business at area colleges.

Craig Considine—trombone

Craig performs and records with several bands in Baltimore. He can be heard playing Latin Jazz with Rumba Club, Rock and Soul with All Mighty Senators, and original music as well as live scores for silent films with Anne Watts and Boister. Craig has played his trombone for audiences all over the world. In the D.C.  area he has played Blues Alley, The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian, The 9:30 Club and many other venues.

Mark Gilbert—saxophones

Mark’s high school rock band played at the original Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, and he has spent the 35 years since performing with some of the most respected names in jazz, soul and funk.  Mark toured for seven years with the DC horn section backing Gladys Knight and the Pips, and has played and recorded music around the US and Mexico with artists such as The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Dells, Cab Calloway, Don Cherry, Los Flamers, Rootboy Slim, Trouble Funk and many others.  Mark has performed during three Presidential inaugurations, and he has played in many local jazz, funk and salsa groups including Windmill Saxophone Quartet, Locura, Chainsaw Jazz and Vector.

Justine Miller—trumpet, vocals

Justine won a music scholarship to University of Nevada-Las Vegas then studied in the masters program at Peabody Conservatory in computer music.  She has toured everywhere from Maryland to Florida to Puerto Rico in bands playing Latin, R&B, funk, jazz and classical.  Justine has worked recently with 2 Funkin’ Heavy, an all-girl funk band, as well as with numerous Latin groups.  She has recorded with many bands including 2 Funkin’ Heavy, The Brenda David Group, Heoka, and Malvin Lopez.

Trevor Specht—saxophones, vocals

Trevor combined his interest in technology and music as a computer music student at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He has performed a wide variety of musical styles with many different groups, ranging from classical saxophone quartets and wind ensembles to funk/rock party bands.  A few of Trevor's musical heroes are Branford Marsalis, Charles Mingus and John Cage.  Trevor is a member of Junkyard Saints.

Cheryl Terwilliger—trumpet

Cheryl received her Master of Music Education degree from the Eastman School of Music with a concentration in trumpet performance and jazz studies.  A veteran performer who has played since age 8, Cheryl has experience in a variety of musical genres, including jazz, classical, Latin, funk, blues and rock.  For the past several years, she has appeared as a member of the Wammie-nominated all-girl funk band, Zeala. When not performing, Cheryl is a full-time music teacher at a local independent school and also maintains a studio of private students.

David Font-Navarretepercussion

David is part of a new generation of percussionists, versatile and equally at home in traditional and modern music. He has performed professionally throughout the United States, as well as in Cuba, Canada, Europe, and Japan for more than a decade.  Since arriving in Washington, DC from Miami three years ago, he has performed with groups including Fertile Ground, WES Group, and Havana Select. He also works as a ritual drummer and singer in the Afro-Cuban Lukumi tradition. His own experimental project, Io, fuses ambient and electronic music with acoustic music to create futuristic soundscapes. David runs the independent label Elegua Records (

Mark Corrales—percussion

Mark first got his hands on a pair of drumsticks when he was eight years old and has been playing drums professionally since high school. He went from orchestral music and marching bands to playing drum set in musicals and jazz, funk, and rock bands. In the 1980s he studied the polyrhythmic Ewe drumming of Ghana. In the 1990s, Mark intensively studied the complex drumming and songs of Cuban bata and conga traditions that came from the Yoruba of Nigeria and other central and west African cultures. He has performed folkloric AfroCuban music with the groups Havana Select and Eniya Elenu.

David McDavitt—drums

Since first punching through the fragile paper heads of a toy drum kit at age seven, drums have been David's madness.  He specializes in Ewe, Akan, & Ga music, often orchestrating tribal ensemble drum parts onto his Afrotrap kit. David studied with Ghanaian royal drummer Asante Okyerema (Paul Simon). David has celebrated his passion for African music playing with Jimi Hope, Cheick Hamala Diabate, and A Different Drummer.  David teaches architecture, and directs a children’s African drum ensemble.

Victor Crisen—guitar

Originally from Romania, Victor has been playing guitar since childhood.  He studied music at the University of Maryland, where he was privileged to play with the Maryland Jazz Ensemble and work with maestro Chris Vadala.  Victor has collaborated with a number of groups, including funkers Original Jones and alt-rockers The Walk (now Continuous Play).  He teaches guitar professionally and has done studio recording work in addition to pursuing acting.

Robert Fox—bass

Robert has been playing and collecting music for twenty-five years and is a student of many musical genres.  His influences include Duke Ellington, The Velvet Underground, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, John Zorn, Manu Chao and Johnny Cash.  Robert studies bass with Rob Perl and lives in Takoma Park, MD.