Born and raised in San Diego, fell in love with Reggae and World Music at a young age. First instrument as a child was piano and at 16 began playing guitar and percussion. As a percussionist I have studied West African, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian drumming for years. I have a BA in world music from San Diego State University. I started playing out live in bands at the age of 16 in mostly 21 and up clubs had to get escorted on and off stage to play.
Over the years I have played with many bands varying genres from Reggae, to Salsa, Jazz, Blues, Hip Hop, R&B, Afrobeat and Highlife music.
Played both percussion and keys for Elijah Emanuel and the Revelations for over 10 years. Played out locally and toured extensively.
Opening for International Reggae acts Damien Marley, Rita Marley, Israel Vibration, Toots and the Maytals, Burning Spear, Culture, Sister Carol, Ras Michael, UB40, Big Mountain, The Wailers, Lucky Dube, Pato Banton, Barrington Levy, Michael Rose, The Itals, Cultura Profetica, The Gladiators, Bunny Wailer, Morgan Heritage, Steel Pulse, Leon Mobley and Da Lion, Manu Chao, etc…
Played both percussion and keys for Akayaa Atule and Bolga Zohdoomah a Ghanaian High Life Band.
Lived in San Diego, Mexico, Barbados and moved to Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi 2008. Hawaiʻi has always been a second home. I have had the opportunity to play with many great bands and musicians in the islands.
Azato’s music is autobiographical as well as telling the stories those close to me and the lives of the at-risk youth I work with as well as commentating on the struggles and social injustice I have experienced and those I love in my community.
Azato is a nickname given to me by Akayaa Atule a close friend from Ghana. It comes from the Frafra language in Northern Ghana. Azato means “joyful or smiley one”. Hearing Azato music you can’t help but move your feet and experience life and joy. On a deeper level my life has been transformed dramatically by my Creator. I want my listeners to experience life and life to the fullest through the joy that comes from the Most High.
Musical Influences, #1 Roots Reggae music from Jamaica especially from the 70’s. World Music is my second greatest influence. Azato music is unique blend of World Music/Roots Reggae, with elements including, West African, Afro-Cuban, Jazz, Blues, Classical, Nyabinghi, Hawaiian and Samoan music.