The musical alliance known as NOVALA was conceived in Boston, MA and took form in Los Angeles, CA. At an early age, the group’s frontman and founding member Zach Nazar, originally from Chicago, began playing drums and was a frequent during the height of the underground Chicago rave scene and then later the jam band festival circuit. Zach later moved to New England to study Afro-Latin drumming and rhythms, performing with various groups including Toubab Krewe, The Macrotones and Uhuru Afrika, then later traveled to West Africa to study traditional drumming from the source.
It wasn’t until Zach moved to Los Angeles to start his new project that he met saxophonist Brandon Valerino in an apartment building elevator. With instruments on their backs they quickly got to talking as Zach shared his vision… and the two shook hands before the elevator doors opened. With Zach’s World percussion influences and Brandon’s melodic ear, they began developing a whole new sound.
“NOVALA, literally meaning; A “new-you” event, came naturally from the music”, stated Zach. “When we listened back to the first recordings of our original compositions with an open mind… it felt new… we felt new… and we try to capture that feeling in our music”
Representing 21st century L.A., NOVALA weaves West African and Latin rhythms with Western dance styles such as Funk, Rock and Hip-hop. With a unique blend of instrumentation, from the full horn section to the array of Afro-Latin percussion, NOVALA is comprised of 10 highly sought after professional musicians in Southern California.
With a commitment to providing high energy shows that satisfy all generations of guests, NOVALA plays original Afro-Funk dance music as well as specifically chosen nostalgic covers that audiences recognize and remember. Encouraging guests to occupy dance floors as well as incorporating audience participation into songs, NOVALA’s big and exciting sound provides the music that will bring us together.
Zach Nazar – Percussion
Carlos Hernandez – Percussion
Brandon Valerino – Alto Sax
Chris Adachi – Trumpet
Luis Tonalli Hernandez – Bari Sax
Alex Lewis – Tenor Sax
Aziza Syed – Keys
Jaewon Kim – Drum Kit
Martin Valenzuela – Bass
Shingo – Guitar