AFRICAN BEAT

Asheville-based quintet whip up a neo-griot frenzy

A Toubab Krewe show typically begins in the past, with a brief percussive disquisition on West African rhythms; gradually picks up velocity as more surf, jazz, dub, and hip-hop ideas are stirred into the mix; and ultimately climaxes in a futuristic, psychedelic, neo-griot frenzy. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, this usually all-instrumental toubab (Wolof for “white”) quintet has spent considerable time in Mali, Guinea, and Ivory Coast, studying with some of West Africa’s finest musicians as well as performing (they played Essakane, Mali’s remote “Festival in the Desert” last year), and they have an oversized bag of big, bad African riffs to show for it. Spoken-word radical Umar Bin Hassan, who joined the Last Poets in 1969, will open the show and later collaborate with the Krewe.
Sat., May 10, 8 p.m., 2008
 
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