Artist Profiles: Toubab Krewe

Toubab Krewe

Toubab Krewe is an instrumental quintet based in Asheville, North Carolina, that fuses West African music with American rock. The five members, who are childhood friends and long-term musical collaborators who joined up in 2005, have spent extended periods studying with musical masters in Mali, Ivory Coast, and Guinea and learning traditional instruments such as the kora (a 21-string harp) and the kamel ngoni (a lute).

Their recording ‘Live At The Orange Peel’ (2008) features eight previously unreleased tracks and continue to mix American rock with the West African musical traditions the band fell in love with on their travels. Along the way, they explore the worlds of surf and zydeco. Live At The Orange Peel features collaborations with legendary spoken word artist Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets and fiddler Rayna Gellert of Uncle Earl. It was produced by Grammy winning producer Steven Heller, who also produced the band’s debut.

With many friends, teachers, and collaborators living in Mali and affected by the 2012 Malian crisis, the band felt called to do something to help. Inspired by the encouragement of Toumani Diabate, Toubab Krewe’s Luke Quaranta envisioned and launched “Musicians for Mali,” an initiative to increase awareness about the current crisis in Mali, and raise money for refugees.

Teal Brown – drum set
Drew Heller – electric guitar and soku
Justin Perkins – kora, kamelengoni, and electric guitar
David Pransky – electric bass guitar
Luke Quaranta – percussion

Discography

* Toubab Krewe (Upstream Records, 2005)
* Live At The Orange Peel (Upstream Records, 2009)
* TK2 (Nat Geo Music, 2011)

Web sites: www.toubabkrewe.com

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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