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The accomplished North Carolina band Toubab Krewe performs Afro-beat, blending American roots music with similar sounds of Mali and West Africa.

Percussionist Luke Quranta, originally from New York, said that even as a teenager, he was drawn to African percussion and its musical traditions more so than the pimped-out drum kits fellow musicians favored.

He found kindred spirits in North Carolina, and instead of simply replicating what they heard on records, the nascent band traveled to Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali to study their instruments under the tutelage of masters.

"It really grabbed us," said Quranta, who is at home on the African drum djembe. M

any of the other members of the group had grown up playing Appalachian bluegrass, and once they heard music from Mali, they realized the lineage of the music could be traced to Africa.

"It really changed all of us," Quranta said of trips. "There's a lot of common ground."

Holy Water Buffalo opens.

When • Sunday, 8 p.m.Where • The State Room, 638 S. State St., Salt Lake CityTickets • $16 at

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