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Toubab Krewe is an American instrumental band which fuses the music of Mali with American musical styles (particularly those of the Southern United States). The group's instrumentation includes kora (21-string harp-lute), kamelengoni (12-string harp-lute), soku (Malian horsehair fiddle), two electric guitars, electric bass guitar, drum set, and African percussion. The group, which is based in Asheville, North Carolina, was founded in early 2005 and has traveled to West Africa several times, working with local musicians. The band released their self-titled debut album in 2005, which was recorded by Steven Heller at Upstream Records in Asheville, North Carolina. The band released their second album "TK2" on September 7, 2010 on the Nat Geo Music label. Again, it was produced by Steven Heller).
In several West African languages, including Bambara and Wolof, Toubab means "foreigner." "Krewe" is a reference to the New Orleans region's spelling of the word "Crew."
Toubab Krewe has performed at some of the largest attended music festivals in the United States, including the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, MerleFest, MagnoliaFest, High Sierra Music Festival, 10,000 Lakes Festival, Vegoose, Lotus World Music and Art Festival among countless others. Toubab Krewe also performed in January 2007 at the Desert Music Festival in Essakane, Mali, Music on the Mountaintop in Boone, NC and at the 2009 Rothbury Music Festival, in Rothbury, MI, the 2009 Bear Creek Music Festival in Live Oak, FL. as well as their most recent performance on board Jam Cruise 8.
In October 2010 Toubab Krewe performed at Voodoo Experience in New Orleans.
Toubab Krewe performed at All Good Music Festival in Masontown, West Virginia, July 15, 2011.
Toubab Krewe performed at the Crystal Bay Club in Crystal Bay, NV on November 8, 2011.
- Teal Brown - drum set (2005 - 2011)
- Vic Stafford - drum set (2011)
- Drew Heller - electric guitar and soku
- Justin Perkins - kora, kamelengoni, and electric guitar
- David Pransky - electric bass guitar
- Luke Quaranta - percussion
- Terrence Houston - drum set
Toubab Krewe Music School
As of 2013, the band is donating between fifty cents and one dollar on every ticket sold for their concerts to Instruments 4 Africa, a 501c-3 nonprofit organization. These donations will specifically go to build a music school in the Bamako, Mali area. The school will be headed by their teacher, Lamine Soumano.