The multicultural, US-based reggae band Black Rebels features the line-up of Manou (rhythm guitar, lead vocals), Jeanotte (vocals), Ras Toph (bass guitar), Chris Smith (drums), Rui Santos (keyboards), Dave Boatwright (lead guitar) and Kalpana Devi (vocals). The band were initially formed by Manou and his brother Jeanotte, who originally came from Portugal. Although raised in Europe, the brothers shared a direct lineage from the Portuguese African colony Cape Verde, home to Rui Santos. The band’s cosmopolitan feel was heightened by the inclusion of Jamaican, Senegalese and US performers. The Black Rebels enjoyed cult status in the USA, especially among world music devotees who enjoyed the band’s merging of reggae with traditional African and Caribbean rhythms, including merengue and mbalakh. By the mid-90s the band settled in Massachusetts where, in addition to hectic touring schedules, Manou and Jeanotte also taught soccer skills to young Americans. In addition to touring, the band recorded Thank You Jah, which showcased their unique, multilingual, multi-sound fusions.
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