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Genre: Experimental, Funk, Jazz, Oldies, World Music

Website: www.deboband.com

MP3 (click name to download; click player to stream):
Adderech Arada - Live in Addis Ababa

Gedamay - Live at the Middle East


Boston’s own 11 piece Ethio-groove collective was created by Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen as a way of exploring the unique sounds that once filled the dance clubs of “Swinging Addis.” Since 2006, Debo Band has been immersed in the unlikely confluence of traditional East African polyrhythms and pentatonic scales, classic American soul and funk music, and the instrumentation of Eastern European brass bands, producing a unique form of dance music that Ethiopian audiences instantly recognize as the soundtrack of their youth, carried from party to kitchen on the ubiquitous cassette tapes of the time. With a unique instrumentation – including horns, strings, and accordion – that is a nod to the big bands of Haile Selassie’s time, Debo Band is giving new life to these old sounds, and paying it forward to a new generation and a broader audience. Lead vocalist Bruck Tesfaye has the kind of pipes that reverberate with the sound of beloved Ethiopian vocalists like Mahmoud Ahmed and Alemayehu Eshete. An expansive repertoire and spirited performances have earned the band concert opportunities such as opening for legendary Ethiopian greats Tilahun Gessesse and Getatchew Mekuria, and appearances at the 2009 Ethiopian Music(s) Festival in Addis Ababa, and the 2010 Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar, Tanzania.