Toko Irie originally from Grenada has been jamming island music in Key West for the past 18 years. He is best known for the steeldrums, implementing an artistic blend of speed combined with a unique 3-stick method of playing. Introduced to the pan at age 9, he honed his skills on an old steeldrum given to him by a panmaker who lived in his village. Forming a group with his brother and cousin, at 14 he had the opportunity to compete annually against the island’s best for Carnival competition. At age 19 and also the youngest member, he became musical director of a 40-piece steelpan group performing around the island and on cruiseships. Toko, so nicknamed for the village in Trinidad renowned for it’s amazing steeldrummers, brings Key West the Irie Sounds of Bob Marley and Paul Simon as well. A unique world music sound with an emphasis on the “jamdown” roots so close to his heart and soul, he combines the favorite calypso and reggae standards with a never ending flow of original tunes to vibe out to for the diehard music lover. Having grown up in such a rich culture still strewn with African innuendo permeating dance and song, Toko Irie brings to life ancient cultures in his every movement. Toko Irie delivers an unforgettable performance every time.
View full article on Toko Irie at The Blue Paper.
Photo rights: Mile Zero Key West.
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