Toubab Krewe recording live album at the Maple Leaf Bar, 2/8–2/9

PHOTO: CHRIS TAYLOR | Anyone who has spent any time listening to live music at the Maple Leaf Bar knows that it is one of the premier spots to hear musicians giving their all with the audience right in their faces. So a month after Frogs Gone Fishing came into town to record at the Leaf, another band based elsewhere but with a serious affinity for New Orleans will record in the uptown club. Toubab Krewe returns for two shows on Friday and Saturday night.

Based out of Asheville, North Carolina, but with their feet firmly planted across the African diaspora, the band and its members are no strangers to the Crescent City. Since forming in 2005, they have played numerous times in New Orleans and various members have called the city home over the years.

Their sound is rooted in the West African music of Mali, complete with traditional instruments like the kora, a 21-string harp, and hand drums like the djembe. But they mix up the ancient African instruments with electric guitars in the style of some of the greats from West Africa like Thomas Mapfumo and the recently deceased Oliver Mtukudzi.

Because of Toubab Krewe’s affinity for improvisation, they have been embraced by the jam band community despite the music’s differences from typical American music.  Though their music tends to be foreign (the word “Toubab” means “foreigner” in more than one African language), the rhythms are infectious and invite dancers to the floor.

The Friday show begins at 11 PM. The Saturday show is an early one beginning at 8 PM. Corey Henry and the Tremé Funktet play after Toubab on Saturday night.

Tickets are available at the door.

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