Appalatin's sound is the unique blend of several cultures: part Latino, part Appalachian, but most importantly world. Their sound was de- scribed by Louisville Music News writer Alexander Clark Campbell as '... sunny, high-spirited, fun music, technically a cross-pollination of Appala- chian folk and blues and various Latin American Sounds (primarily Andes & Coastal Central American) ' specifically Rumba, Andean, Central American Folk, North American Folk, Blues, and Rock, Cuban, cha cha, samba, Trova music from the 60's & 70's, Cumbia, and Bluegrass.' Theyhave been a prominent feature on the Louisville music scene since 2006, having played various local festivals and venues such as WorldFest, Kentucky Crafted Showcase, Americana Festival, WFPK's Live Lunch Concert, Kentucky Homefront, and the Louisville Loves Mountains Festi- val. Their March 2011 self-released album features 9 original songs and 2 traditional covers from the Andes and Appalachia. Appalatin is a listed artist on the Kentucky Arts Council's Performing Artist Directory.
The six-member band uses all acoustic instrumentation that features classical and steel string guitars; traditional Native wood flutes and pan flutes; harmonica; mandolin; charango (Andean ukelele); bass; and a myriad of percussion (congas, bongos, cajon, maracas, cow-bell and guiro to name a few).
While they call Louisville, KY., home, each member has found a unique path to arrive there. The derivation of the name Appalatin represents the origin of the six members of the band: two members were born and grew up in the Appalachian region of Kentucky (though both individually lived in Latin America), one member is from Louisville though he lived in El Salvador, one member was born and grew up in the Andean mountain region of Ecuador, and one member was born and raised in Nicaragua and one in Mexico.
The Kentucky representatives of the group include Steve Sizemore,Yani Vozos, and Mason Roberts. Steve was born in Hazard, Kentucky and has spent several years learning the hand percussion styles of Latin America and the Caribbean through his study and living abroad in Chile and Argentina. Yani, born to a Greek father and Kentucky mother on a farm in Lee County, KY, brings to the group his guitar talents honed during his university studies around the world and Peace Corps experience in Honduras. Mason Roberts hails from Louisville and before moving back to Louisville in recent years, he worked in El Salvador with subsistence farmers to increase their production and access to markets. The Latin component of the group includes Marlon Obando, Fernando Moya, and Luis De Leon. Fernando is a native of Quito, Ecuador, and master musician of indigenous instruments from the Andes Mountains region. He has performed with the highly acclaimed music ensemble Andes Manta and toured throughout Ecuador and parts of the U.S., including a performance in Carnegie Hall. Marlon, a na- tive of Nicaragua, brings his Central American and Caribbean influence to the group. Prior to moving to Louis- ville, he performed in various folk bands in Managua. Luis De Leon, originally from Chiapas, Mexico, is a profes- sional journalist who got started with music in Guatemala City with flamenco, rock, blues and folk bands. He has participated in dance and theatre performances in festivals in Mexico, Germany and Guatemala.
Their mission is to bring a message of a fair and just world, one of hope, joy and love. Appalatin's fun and engaging acoustic sounds and world view inspire audience participation (dancing, singing, hand clapping and foot stomping) and make for a perfect contribution to any community, fundraising, educational or festival event.