Debo Band is Boston’s Ethio-groove collective showcasing the vintage sounds of Ethiopian pop from the 1970s. Their sound is large as the band is filled with instruments that work themselves into a killer funk trance. There is a trumpet, two tenor saxophones, trombone and sousaphone, which all swing together alongside accordion, five-string violin, electric violin, electric bass, drums, percussion and vocals. Alastair Macaulay from the NY Times observes, “the rhythm alone is so layered that you can hear some numbers as fast and slow at the same time.”
Danny Mekonnen, an Ethiopian-American jazz saxophonist and a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at Harvard University, created Debo as a way of exploring the unique sounds that filled the dance clubs of “Swinging Addis” and as an outlet for experimenting with new arrangements, configurations, and compositional techniques. In several years, Debo Band has already received numerous accolades from across the globe. It seems no one can resist the incredible Ethio-grooves they are capable of producing. Another fine choice for globalFEST 2012.
Check them out below performing “Lantchi Biye” at Joe’s Pub. Their sound is incredibly hypnotic and deliciously funky. Be sure to check out their singles, “Gedawo” and “Adderech Arada” on Electric Cowbell Records. Debo Band also released an EP entitled Flamingoh (Pink Bird Dawn) on bandcamp. You simply can’t have enough Debo.