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Chopteeth playing at the Kennedy Center (2008).
Background information
Origin Washington, D.C., United States
Genres Afrofunk
Years active 2004 – present
Labels Grisgris
Members Michael Shereikis, guitar and vocals
Anna Mwalagho, vocals
Robert Fox, bass
Craig Considine, trombone
Mark Gilbert, saxophones
Justine Miller, trumpet and vocals
Trevor Specht, saxophones and vocals
Cheryl Terwilliger, trumpet
Atta Addo, djembe & twinchin
Mark Corrales, percussion
David McDavitt, drums
Jason Walker, drums and percussion
Brian Simms, keyboards
Jon Hoffschneider, keyboards
Victor Crisen, guitar

Chopteeth is a Washington, D.C.- based afrofunk big-band. Although rooted in Fela Kuti's Nigerian afrobeat, Chopteeth's music is an amalgam of Ghanaian highlife, Senegalese rumba, Jamaican ska, Mande griot music, 1970's West African funk, Ewe dance drum rhythms, Kenyan Taita afropop, soul-funk, and jazz.[1] Chopteeth's writing and arrangements feature unique driving syncopations, and occasional odd meters. Chopteeth vocalists sing in eight different languages including English, Nigerian Pidgin, Swahili, Wolof, Mande, Twi, Taita, and French.[1]


Founded in 2004 by Robert Fox (bass), ethnomusicologist Michael Shereikis (guitar & lead vocals), Jon Hoffschneider (keyboards), and bata drummer Mark Corrales (percussion), Chopteeth quickly attracted a stable line-up of musicians including saxophonist Mark Gilbert (Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Four Tops, Cab Calloway, Don Cherry), trombonist Craig Constadine (Busta Rhymes), trumpeter Justine Miller, Romanian guitarist Victor Crisen, Kenyan vocalist/dancer Anna Mwalagho, and Ghanaian music teacher David McDavitt (drums). In 2008 Ghanaian drummer Atta Addo joined Chopteeth on percussion.[2]

The name "Chopteeth" comes from a song by Fela Kuti called "J'ehin J'ehin". It refers to someone who eats his own teeth, a crazy person. Percussionist and former member Mark Corrales came up with that name for the band because he said they were insane to think they could sustain a large afrobeat band.

Chopteeth won several Wammies (Washington Area Music Awards)presented by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA):[3]

  • 2007 Best World Music Group
  • 2008 Best World Music Duo/Group
  • 2008 Best World Music Recording
  • 2008 Best Debut Recording
  • 2008 Artist of the Year
  • 2009 Artist of the Year
  • 2010 World Music Group
  • 2010 World Music Recording


  • Michael Shereikis, guitar and vocals;
  • Robert Fox, bass;
  • Craig Considine, trombone;
  • Mark Gilbert, saxophones;
  • Justine Miller, trumpet and vocals;
  • Trevor Specht, saxophones and vocals;
  • Cheryl Terwilliger, trumpet;
  • Atta Addo, twinchin & djembe
  • Mark Corrales, trombone;
  • David McDavitt, percussion;
  • Brian Simms, keyboards;
  • Jason Walker, drums;
  • Victor Crisen, guitar;
  • Mark Corrales, percussion (former);

Educational Sites Authored by Chopteeth[edit]




  • Struggle, 2008
  • Chopteeth Live, 2010

Recording Collaborations[edit]


External links[edit]


See also[edit]