Bamboula 2000
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Bamboula 2000

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1994 | SELF | AFM

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 1994
Band Jazz World


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"New Music Spotlight: Bamboula 2000"

Published on: August 9th, 2016
Bamboula 2000 performing at Congo Square in 2013 [Photo by Melanie Merz]
Bamboula 2000 performing at Congo Square in 2013 [Photo by Melanie Merz]
Bamboula 2000 performing at Congo Square in 2013 [Photo by Melanie Merz]
Bamboula 2000 "Up From Congo Square"
Bamboula 2000 "Up From Congo Square"
Bamboula 2000 "Up From Congo Square"
Bamboula 2000 celebrates 22 years with a new CD and anniversary show at Cafe Istanbul
Bamboula 2000 integrates a modern soul sound with African, Caribbean, and jazz influences-- thus their latest album, Up From Congo Square, is quite appropriately titled. Bamboula 2000 pays tribute to their drumming and dancing ancestors in Congo Square's long and storied history as the birthplace of jazz and the New Orleans sound. Bamboula 2000 is unique in that they began with a specific mission-- to help people perceive the connections between themselves and the cultural traditions of the African diaspora. This mission is still being fulfilled 22 years after their launch.

Formed in 1994, Bamboula 2000 has won the Big Easy Award for Best World Music Group three times and been nominated eight times. The group is heavily invested in the community and reaches thousands of children annually through their "Imagination Tour" dance and drum workshops. Up From Congo Square was supported by the Threadhead Cultural Foundation, a local non-profit that works "to promote the tradition of preserving, promoting and disseminating the cultural heritage of New Orleans and the surrounding area of Louisiana."

Up From Congo Square is a moving tribute to and continuation of the music that came from the historic area now contained within Treme's Armstrong Park and all of the souls and influences that have passed through there over the centuries. The percussion heavy 'Our Ancestry' calls out spots throughout the Caribbean and world. Heavy African drum stylings can be heard on 'Kakilamba' and 'Drummer Man.' The group takes a lighter turn on the easy flowing 'La Place' and romantic 'Let It Happen.' The 10-track release closes with the most straight jazz song on the album, 'Elevate.'

On Sunday, August 14, they'll be celebrating the 22nd anniversary of the band with a show at Cafe Istanbul from 6-10p.

Up From Congo Square is available on CD and mp3 from the band's website, Louisiana Music Factory, CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon. - WWOZ






Bamboula 2000 is deeply rooted in the soul of Congo Square in New Orleans. This exciting music and dance experience formed 22 years ago in 1994 has become beloved in New Orleans and beyond. Bamboula 2000’s music is influenced by New Orleans, the Caribbean and Africa. The group has won the prestigious Big Easy Award for Best World Music group three times and has been nominated 8 times. In addition, Bamboula 2000 reaches thousands of children annually through their Imagination Tour dance and drum workshops.


                    Throughout 2015 & 2016, Bamboula has been in production on their 6th CD “Up From Congo Square” that is being supported by the Threadhead Foundation. The new CD was released April 26, 2016.


           Over the last 22 years, the group has released five compact discs, Cultural Warrior (1996), New Society (2000), Live at 2009 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (2008) on MunckMusic, We Got It Goin’ On! (2010) & Bamboula’s 20th Anniversary disc “The Wild Bamboulas” (2014). A major recording achievement for Luther was his co-writing credits and performance on the title song of Trout Fishing in America’s Grammy nominated 2008 CD, “Big Round World”!  Members of Bamboula have appeared in HBO’s Treme’, TNT’s Memphis Beat, American Horror Stories and Roots.

           World music percussionist, Luther Gray, leads the group. He has performed all over the world with Bamboula 2000 and The Guardians of the Flame Mardi Gras Indians. Bamboula 2000 has toured Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia & Florida. In addition, Luther has toured with the Guardians of the Flame Mardi Gras Indians to such international locations as Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, United Arab Emirates, France, Martinique, Trinidad & Tobago, Honduras, & Guatemala. He has also toured Ghana, Benin & South Africa.


In 2009 Luther received the prestigious 2009 Community Arts Award from the Arts Council of New Orleans, the Asante Award & in 2014, A Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Conference of Artists.


           In addition to his musical endeavors Luther also founded the Congo Square Preservation Society with Bamboula Queen, Jamilah Peters-Muhammad in 1989. The Society is responsible for placing Congo Square on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993, erecting the Congo Square Historic Plaque in 1997 and sponsoring the weekly Sundays in Congo Square Drum & Dance Workshops since 1989. The Society has played a part in all of the major improvements in Congo Square since 1989.          


           Bamboula 2000 consists of:


            Luther Gray – Producer, songwriter, percussions, kalimba & vocals 

Cameron WoodsProducer, songwriter, engineer & drums       

Cheryl Woods – Producer, songwriter, Lead Singer, & Bass

Drena Clay – Soulful Lead vocalist, songwriter

Eric Hornsby –Versatile keyboardist & songwriter

Jeremy Thomas – Trumpet, Producer, Composer

Clark Richardson - Dun-Dun drums and percussion

James Hatchett – Guitar, Songwriter


 Bamboula Queens


 Jamilah Peters-MuhammadChoreographer, teacher & Dancer

 Kai Knight – Choreographer, teacher & Dancer


The Bamboula Warrior - Torrence Taylor – Dancer, teacher 


Band Members