Arts & Entertainment,
April 26th, 2012
Every Jazzfest we look forward to discovering new music from far away places like Ethiopia or Boston or both. Debo Band – Boston’s Ethiopian Groove Collective definitely fits that bill.
Debo Band is a 11-member group led by Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen and fronted by charismatic vocalist Bruck Tesfaye. Since their inception in 2006, the band have toured Ethiopia twice, having appeared at both the Ethiopian Music Festival in Addis Ababa and Sauti Za Busara in Zanzibar, the largest music festival in East Africa. In North America, they’ve shared stages with Gogol Bordello, The Family Stone, Tilahun Gessesse (one of the great voices of Ethiopian pop since the 60’s), The Ex with Ethiopian sax legend Getatchew Mekuria, Group Doueh, and Khaira Arby and Her Band. They’ve also performed at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, The Kennedy Center, Montreal Jazz Fest, globalFEST 2012 at Webster Hall, Joe’s Pub, and World Music Festival: Chicago. Read More—>
Debo Band have creative ways of approaching their Ethiopian sound like adopting the use of non-traditional instruments such as the violin and accordion into traditional Ethiopian music. “The way we play the sax in Ethiopia is fast-paced. It is less controlled more frantic and raw” said Danny Mekonnen, Debo Band’s leader. He also said that it is their first time playing in New Orleans and they are very excited to play Backbeat Jazzfest Series at Blue Nile with Stooges Brass Band and Slavic Soul Party! on April 27 as well as the festivals this weekend. If you are headed to Bonnaroo you will also have a chance to see them there at the globalFEST curated World Music Tent.
Next Ambiance / Sub Pop is set to release Debo Band’s forthcoming S/T album on July 10 via CD, LP, and all DSPs. The album was produced by Thomas “Tommy T” Gobena of Gogol Bordello, recorded at Machines with Magnets (Battles, Deer Tick) and mastered by Grammy nominated engineer Joe LaPorta at The Lodge. Preceding the album release, Debo Band has scheduled a handful of festival performances and four of them take place in South Louisiana.
Download MP3 “Asha Gedawo” here
Watch Debo Band live video: clip 1 + clip 2
What others are saying…
“If George Clinton had come from Ethiopia instead of outer space, the result might have been what Debo Band gives you.” – Boston Globe
“What’s amazing about Debo Band is that they play that music (Ethiopian pop) without any sort of…precious reverence… They play it like it’s NOW, as music of right now, and they play it with incredible energy and passion and excellence. And it just totally rocks. It’s amazing.” – All Songs Considered, NPR
04/27/12 New Orleans, LA
Backbeat Jazz Fest Series: Debo Band / Slavic Soul Party! / Stooges Brass BandBlue Nile Balcony Room
10:00pm (9:00pm doors)
04/28/12 Lafayette, LA
Festival International de Louisiane 5:00pm on Scène Popeyes International
04/29/12 New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
3:00pm on the Jazz & Heritage Stage
By Michael Lamendola for HumidBeings.com