Bamboula 2000
Bamboula 2000 is deeply rooted in the soul of Congo Square in New Orleans. This exciting music and dance experience formed 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. Shane T. Lief, from Tulane University, wrote his Master's Thesis, titled Staging New Orleans: The Contested Space of Congo Square. He refers to Bamboula 2000 performances as explicitly organized to help people perceive the connections between themselves and the cultural traditions of the African Diaspora. The aggregate effect of these performances is the creation of a 'sonic home' for the participants, a percussive engine of identity which is simultaneously rooted and mobile. 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 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.