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Boise, Idaho, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Boise, Idaho, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band World Rock




"Afrosonics' Global Groove"

When Dayo Ayodele was a child living in Nigeria, he saw a commercial on TV.

"It's a Coca-Cola commercial--the one that talks about teaching the world how to sing perfect harmony," he said. "It's an old, classic Coke song, and they played that a lot in Nigeria."

The commercial suggested a world far beyond anything he'd experienced. What he liked most about it was the image of people of different races and cultures holding hands.

"That ad really stuck in my head," Ayodele said, suggesting "that it's a big world and we all have to live in peace and unity."

After he had moved to Boise, Ayodele drew on that idea to start Global Lounge, a nonprofit that seeks both to foster cultural awareness and to help refugees and immigrants acclimate to life in the Treasure Valley. Ayodele also brings that spirit to his band Afrosonics, which combines African music with funk and jazz. The band headlines Radio Boise Tuesday at Neurolux on Dec. 17. Opening duties will be shared by local groups Rosa dos Ventos and Henchmen for Hire.

Afrosonics' fusion of musical genres reflects the influence of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, who pioneered Afrobeat, a fusion of African and American music. Ayodele's mother grew up with Kuti--as a girl, she lived in a Christian boarding house run by Kuti's family.

Ayodele never had a personal connection to Kuti--the musician's politics were too radical for his parents--but he recalled that "there [were] a few times that Fela came around the house and said hello to my mom and stuff."

But Ayodele did grow up listening to Kuti's music. He also considered Kuti "the main news source" during a time when Nigeria suffered from strict censorship, military coups and high-level governmental corruption (though Ayodele said he didn't learn the full extent of the country's troubles until after he'd left).

Although Ayodele's parents forbade him from playing music (they wanted him to study medicine), he learned African drumming from his grandmother and at the Anglican Church services he attended as a boy. Ayodele came to America to study film, taking classes at Columbia College Hollywood and USC. After graduating, he worked as an editor and a production assistant. He also exported American albums to England for Liverpool-based independent label 3 Beat Records. But when his ex-wife and daughter moved to Idaho in 2004, Ayodele followed them and changed his career to banking--"it was the first job available here," he said.

With his daughter's future in mind, Ayodele founded Global Lounge in 2006. He thought of the various ethnic groups living around them in Boise and asked himself, "What's anybody doing to bring these people together? And there was really nothing."

At first, Ayodele concentrated on his band United Roots, an Afrobeat/reggae outfit which formed that same year. The group built a respectable local following--it landed a gig as house band at Reef "because we always packed the house," he said--but when it broke up in 2009, Ayodele started devoting more energy to his work with Global Lounge.

During the past few years, Global Lounge has hosted workshops at places such as the Treasure Valley YMCA on a variety of topics, including breakdancing, Capoeira, Japanese art and Bosnian folk dancing. The organization has also put on larger events such as the World Village at this year's Hyde Park Street Fair.

Through events like these, Ayodele said, Global Lounge seeks to serve both as a "cultural hub for the Treasure Valley" and "an ambassador to the new arrivals or the immigrants. ... [An event] is just to kind of show that it is a welcoming community: 'We appreciate what you bring. We love that you're here.'"

According to Executive Director Donna Kovaleski, Global Lounge uses the interconnectedness of the Treasure Valley's various groups to its advantage.

"There's so many webs that are woven in the community," she said. "You want to be talking to the Irish dancers, but one of them actually has a connection to some Indian musicians, who have connections to classical Indian dancers ... and it just goes on and on."

Ayodele relied on those same webs to form the Afrosonics' current lineup. Members of the band include percussionist Muntaga Bah, a former member of United Roots; percussionist Cathima Kodet, a young Gabonese refugee whom Ayodele has been mentoring; bassist Matt Fabbi; drummer Ricky Martinez; guitarist Brad Nelson; and keyboardist Todd Dunnigan, who played in local new wave band Methods of Dance in the '80s and founded Audio Lab Recording Studios with House of Hoi Polloi's Steve Fulton in 1992.

Playing in Afrosonics creates a kind of culture clash.

"I came with [an] African background; I don't read music," Ayodele admitted, adding that "it's kind of really funny to communicate with people with a Western background [who are] classically trained, but it's really cool."

"There's not a lot of groups like this," Fabbi said. "It's kind of one of those things where you come in, sit over there jamming, and it's like, 'That was different.' It's the hardest you've ever played in your life, but it's also some of the coolest [music]. It sticks [in] your head the longest, in my experience."

The band's interactions reflect the dialogue that Global Lounge seeks to build.

"Somebody will play something, somebody will listen and they'll respond in their way," Kovaleski said. "Even if it's an Indian-sounding guitar from Brad; he's trained in India ... so his music has a different flavor [than his bandmates']. But I think it's just kind of that call and response in music and style."

Ayodele has high ambitions for the future. He wants to set up a gallery for ethnic art, a studio for recording immigrant musicians and a center exclusively for Global Lounge programs (the next event will be a free salsa dancing night at the Treasure Valley YMCA on Friday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m.). Global Lounge will soon start working on fundraising for next year's World Village.

But Ayodele won't forgo his own art; he also hopes to record an Afrosonics album soon. Making music, he said, gives you "more of a voice. ... It's about the expression of emotions. And when you have people on the same page with you, they're able to understand you." - The Boise Weekly

"US band Afrosonics on their way to the UK"

Building a reputation in their home state of Idaho with their fresh sound and upbeat style, US band Afrosonics are proving to be something of a hit on the festival circuit.

A multicultural band who piece together the varied backgrounds and influences of their eight members, their sound is fresh and immediate, winning over crowds who number in the thousands in US festivals such as as Alive After 5, Treefort Festival (2014 & 2015) and Rock The Village (2014 & 2015).

Now, they’re looking to bring their style to the UK, and see if there might be a place for them on new shores. And with a plethora of UK festivals to choose from, surely they can pull of the same trick over here?

Take a look at the video above, and if you like what you see show them some UK love at and - Unfashionablemale

"Time to play with Afrosonics’ ‘Che Che Kule’"

Every now and again, a track comes along that is just great fun. Which is why Afrosonics’ new track ‘Che Che Kule’ deserves to be shared far and wide.

Highly in demand for live dates in the US, Afrosonics are an eight piece whose members all come from different cultures to create what they call ‘afro rock’. ‘Che Che Kule’ (which translates as ‘time to play) is a great example of the energy they capture in their music.

Granted, the video isn’t the best quality, and at times the studio sound of the clip jars with the live shots, but what it gets across is what’s important. This is a fun, entertaining band who have what it takes to hold a stage and kill it in the studio. What more do you want? - Music Crowns


Since music is the universal language, it’s only fitting that AFROSONICS has chosen this medium to bring people with diverse musical influences together in the creation of an original music style (Afro Rock). Audiences experience new vibes through a fusion of guitars, drums, percussion, keyboards, electronic soundscapes, vocals, dance and chants. Although most of the rhythms are of African and American origin, it’s tough to put a label on their sound. Afrosonics incorporates music from all over the world and the root of each member intermingles to create something both classic and unique. In addition to their own music, the group draws an influence from other musical genres i.e. South American, The Caribbean, Funk, Southern American Jazz, Blues, Rock and others that capture the true essence of the African, American or Universal spirit. - ARtistrack

"Afrosonics, Rosa dos Ventos and Henchmen for Hire @ Neurolux (12/17/13)"

I caught Afrosonics' set at the Boise 150 Sesqui-Party back in July and liked what I heard. Upbeat, multicultural funk--just the thing for a James Brown-enamored music writer who gets awfully tired of the same old surf-garage stuff. I was also impressed with bandleader Dayo Ayodele's nonprofit Global Lounge, which seeks to help immigrants adjust to living in the Treasure Valley.

Afrosonics closed out the show. "Rhythm is the key," Dayo Ayodele said at the start of the set, and his band's funk/jazz/reggae-inflected grooves proved him right. Malleable, hard-driving bass and drums weaved with manic guitar and quirky, dexterous keyboard solos. The rough, friendly vocals added a nice human touch. At times, the whole mixture called to mind one of my favorite groups, Sly and the Family Stone. I don't know if the folks in radio-land caught Ayodele's closing admonition to support local music, but hopefully, they at least caught his opening shout-out to the late, great Nelson Mandela - Here Comes the Dumptruck

"Afrosonics – ‘Che Che Kule’ video, live from Treefort Festival"

An eight piece band with members from all over the world, Afrosonics specialized in an eclectic genre they have dubbed Afro Rock. - Cellar Door

"Introducing: Afrosonics – ‘Che Che Kule’"

Never one to pass up a new music sound, we love sharing with you – our lovely readers – all the new, shiny bands we discover. And now, while the weather outside seems intent on turning darker, we hope we can bring you a tiny slice of summer energy by introducing you to Afrosonics.

An eight piece band made of multiple cultures who are hoping to spread their inclusive message (topical), they do so my creating music that pulls together all the backgrounds of their many members. And when that number includes a number of people from the continent of Africa, plus an Italian American, African American, Mexican American, Irish American and a native of Suriname, you can bet it’s one hell of a blend.

The resulting style, described as ‘Afro rock’, is fun and fizzy – well worth your time. - Trickle - Insane Emporium


A band from the US who are reportedly looking to dip their toe into the UK music scene, Afrosonics are huge eight piece collective who simply love to make music people can dance to. As you can see from the video above – a live performance of track ‘Che Che Kule’ with the studio recording dubbed over the top – it works.

Labelling themselves ‘Afro rock’, the band mix genres and cultures to create their unusual sound. It’s not quite indie or rock, not quite reggae or soul, it’s something in between. The key thing here is that it’s energetic and great fun, the kind of thing you can imagine killing it at a festival.

It’s in this environment – huge festivals in their local area – where Afrosonics are making their name in front of crowds of thousands. And if they can send that many people home happy, there’s no reason why they can’t do the same on these shores. - REAL MUSIC NETWORK


Still working on that hot first release.



Afrosonics - a fusion of guitars, drums, percussion, keyboards, electronic soundscapes, vocals, dance and chants. With African and American rhythms, the music incorporates eclectic sounds and the root of each member intermingles to create something both classic and unique. 

Dayo Ayodele hails from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. Community building and music are his passion. As the group leader, he helps with the musical arrangements, production and is a multi-percussionist and songwriter. He honors his culture by singing and dancing to African inspired songs.

Todd Dunnigan, an Idaho native, is a multi-faceted keyboardist, vocalist and record producer, and has worked in nearly every area of the music business, and Co-leads Afrosonics. He started playing professionally at 15 in his hometown of Boise, Idaho. He played and toured with a variety of acts, including Smokey Robinson, The Moody Blues, Boz Skaggs, Gary US Bonds. Dunnigan has produced hundreds of albums for every type of artist from punk to polka lending a diverse palette to every creation.

Cathima Kodet- a Multi-percussionist started drumming and dancing very young. A native of Congo Brazzaville and former refugee from Gabon, he arrived in Boise in 2010 with a powerful energy and African cool in his music and dance.

Jacob Fredrickson’s career includes a range of Boise-based bands: Indie and punk, jazz and funk, he’s dedicated to adding a fullness and groove to every project. He’s performed with: Revolt Revolt, Obscured by the Sun, Ghost Tours, Dan Had It, Moulder, and other various gigs. Sonic wizardry and tasty grooves grace his work. 

James Lancaster is a Guitarist/Singer originally from San Francisco, California. He has performed and recorded in numerous projects all over the US and owned Gemini Studios since 1985. He thrives on new projects and collaborations and specializes in writing both for himself and for others with over 100 Film, video and Television credits. As a member of Afrosonics, he lends vocal vibes and is a tour de force on strings instruments. 

Misty Dawn Taylor an Idaho girl and life-long harmonizer, she discovered music theater and studied vocal performance at BSU. As a former Miss Idaho, took her platform The Power of Music, to the Miss America stage on national TV. She has been a local radio morning show personality on both The River and Kiss FM. She offers unique interpretations of lyrics to Afrosonics. 

Ben Wieland is a Boise drummer bringing the magic and heat to powerful bands over the years. He’s toured the country multiple times in different bands, including a nine-day national tour opening for Built to Spill. His drumming can be heard on the Jumping Sharks records Dreams of the Dying, Light of the Living, Keep the Fountain, RevoltRevolt's Wild Unraveling, and The Weary Times' yet-to-be-released material. Drumming since 2006, he definitely rocks some funky beats in Afrosonics.

Taggart Lewis performs with the Moody Jews, Serenata Orchestra and Treasure Valley Concert Band. He holds BA of music in music education from Boise State University and taught elementary school music and now teaches clarinet full time in Idaho, travelling and building excitement for clarinet and live music, classical and pop. He brings these influences to build clarinet and saxophone into the Afro Indie flavor of Afrosonics.

AFROSONICS performs at the Treefort Music Fest, Northwest Folk Life, The Festival at Sandpoint, World Village, Alive After Five, Knitting Factory and more, highlighting the rich tapestry of world culture through the magic of music.

Band Members