Fri Apr 15 2022
8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)
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Toubab Krewe with The Nth Power
Some music cannot be found on a map or within iTunes categories. Some music is so original it seems snatched from the great, invisible substrata that runs below all human activity, a sound aching to be born without a flag or fixed allegiance – free, questing, overflowing with immediate, tangible life. This is the music of Toubab Krewe, the vibrant Asheville, NC-based instrumental powerhouse that creates a sonic Pangaea that lustily swirls together rock, African traditions, jam sensibilities, international folk strains and more. While nearly impossible to put into any box, it takes only a few moments to realize in a very palpable way that one is face-to-face with a true original who recognizes no borders in a march towards a muscular, original, globally switched-on sound.
Formed in 2005, Toubab Krewe has tenaciously honed their craft through relentless touring and a fierce dedication to carving out something they can truly call their own. The fruits of this hard work can be heard on their latest release, STYLO, (March 2nd, 2018). What Justin Perkins (kora, kamelngoni, guitar, percussion), Terrence Houston (drumset), Drew Heller (guitar, organ), Justin Kimmel (bass, keys), and Luke Quaranta (djembe, dunun, sangban, kenkeni, kryn, karenye) have wrought on STYLO reflects the many miles and musical journeys that have transpired since their last studio album, TK2.
This is a band that actively draws inspiration from whatever source floats into their purview, something they've exhibited in their decade and a half of heavy gigging, including regular appearances at major U.S. festivals like Bonnaroo, High Sierra, Electric Forest, Wakarusa, Hulaween, and abroad at such legendary gatherings as the Festival In The Desert in Essakane, Mali, Shanghai World Music Festival, and Jam Cruise. Whether on their own or collaborating with luminaries like the Last Poets' Umar Bin Hassan, Uncle Earl's Rayna Gellert, or Weedie Braimah, Toubab Krewe has already earned the attention and respect of a broad musical community.
Toubab carries echoes of African greats like Ali Farka Toure, Orchestra Baobab and Salif Keita, no doubt picked up during the group's travels to study and live in Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali. But what truly differentiates Toubab Krewe from other Statesiders inspired by African music is how they innovate on what they've learned instead of simply recreating tradition. Toubab Krewe carves out a new trail honoring the African originators they admire by making something alive and contemporary.
The Nth Power believes in the healing power of music. This all-pro alignment of sharp and seasoned musical vets delivers a transcendent blend of soul, funk, rock and rhythm and blues with multi-part vocal harmonies and songs that inspire audiences to dance, groove, make love or just stand there with goose bumps.
The band's electric live performances have been flooring audiences ever since the group formed in New Orleans during an impromptu jam during Jazzfest nearly a decade ago. After an EP, studio album and two live albums, the band returned in 2021 in support of their second full-length studio release, Reverence, which was featured on the first-round nominations ballot for the 2022 Grammy Awards.
The Nth Power hails from diverse musical backgrounds, races and creeds, but the universal language of love and its power to change lives is the thread that binds them. The trio features drummer Nikki Glaspie, whose credentials include Beyonce, Maceo Parker, Dumpstaphunk and countless more; guitarist and lead vocalist Nick Cassarino, known best for his previous work with Jennifer Hartswick and Big Daddy Kane; and bassist Nate Edgar of reggae giant John Brown's Body.
“It’s my dream team,” said Glaspie, “each one of us is a songwriter, so when we get together, everything becomes that much stronger.” Beyond raw skill, however, Glaspie cites a deep spiritual connection as the glue that binds them together. “Music is what brought us together, but it's the spiritual bond that makes us play so in touch with each other,” she explained.
The Nth Power's inspirational sets have floored audiences at music festivals like Electric Forest, High Sierra, Peachfest, North Coast Music Festival and Hulaween. They maintain New Orleans as their spiritual home, and the celebratory essence of that city’s music culture is audible in each performance – garnering high profile festival appearances and national acclaim from outlets like Relix, Modern Drummer, Huffington Post, Glide, Consequence, Okayplayer and Sirius XM.
Simply put, there is something pretty magical happening in this band, and they’re only just getting started. “Were going as far as you can go on the planet Earth and playing music,” explains Glaspie, “I don’t know how many times we’ve said it, we are so blessed.”
Toubab Krewe with The Nth Power
Fri Apr 15 2022 8:00 PM
(Doors 7:00 PM)