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Debo Band raises the roof on the Ethiopian musical past, picking up where political upheaval of the 1970s and 1980s quenched the energy of one of East Africa’s most prolific, vibrant scenes. They imagine what Duke Ellington, while on his famed African tour, might have played with the Addis Ababa Police Orchestra (“Blue Awaze”). They invent the jams of the Ethiopians who served in the Korean War and brought back influences from East Asia (the catchy Okinawan song “Hiyamikachi Bushi”).
Debo Band brings these musical what-ifs to life on Ere Gobez (FPE Records; May 20, 2016), the bold, grooving follow-up to their acclaimed debut. The large ensemble is known for its fun, danceable dives into Ethiopia’s rich musical worlds--from Orthodox Christian liturgy to hot-and-sweaty club sounds.
As Debo band leader and sax player Danny Mekonnen insists, Ethiopian musical cultures are so diverse that the band could only scratch the surface even after ten years of dedicated study. “In Ethiopia, in the early 70s, you had a lot of different styles and artists and arrangers. You had such wealth. You can never stop digging; there will always be new material to introduce people to. That’s something significant. We’re digging much, much deeper. We’re still unearthing new sounds after a decade.” And these are sounds to pack the dancefloor.
“…riotous energy and sinuous swing.” -- NPR
“Guitar solos, massed vocals, violin and brass rush in like a Red Bulled marching band. Dance at your own risk." -- Rolling Stone
“It’s not an easy feat to pay tribute and transcend that same tribute simultaneously, but… this band manages the trick.” -- Pitchfork
By pledging, you’ll receive a download of the new record before the actual release PLUS access exclusive updates. The download will automatically be included with all other Exclusives.
The new CD. Signed.
These v-neck t-shirts are printed in Rhode Island on soft, organic cotton. The word and image design come from James Weinberg, the same designer who’s making our new album poster. (Choose between men’s or women’s cut)
The new album available on CD. PLUS the album download and access to the exclusive updates.
These tank tops are printed in Rhode Island on soft, organic cotton. The word and image design come from James Weinberg, the same designer who’s making our new album poster. (Choose between men’s or women’s cut)
For the audiophile, our brand new record on warm-sounding vinyl and signed. We love our vinyl and think it’s the best way to experience funky Ethiopian sounds.
For the last several years, we’ve been working with the great Somerville, MA-based designer, James Weinberg. He’ll be making us a special limited-edition poster just for pledgers. Hand numbered/signed by James and us!
For the audiophile and Debo super fan, our New Album + “Debo Band” 2012 Debut on vinyl and signed just for you.
Kaethe, our Addis Ababa-based violinist, created this for a silent auction organized by the The Bonnaroo Works Fund at the 2012 Bonnaroo Festival. This is an updated version with all new recipes & art.
What do you wanna know? Let’s talk! A few members of the band will gather virtually for 45 min. to discuss Ethiopian music theory, history, food, travel, culture, politics, gossip! No questions taboo!
Let’s get together on Skype and work on some music. This 45 min chat/lesson with band leader Danny will be about Ethiopian music for saxophone or any instrument.
We’ll send you the lyrics to our new album & 2012 debut in both English and transliterated Amharic, so you can sing along and know the meaning of the songs! We’ll sign the book, throw in some original artwork and add a pair of signed CDs.
Julie graciously offered us the use of two of her paintings, “Black City” and “Highlife (or Graceland after C. Abani),” for the album art that adorns our debut LP. We’ll send you a copy, signed by the artist just for you! (Photo credit, Teju Cole)
We are serious epicureans. You pay for groceries and we prepare a delicious meal for your party of up 5 people. Specialties include Ethiopian-inspired vegan stews, wildly spiced meats, and honey-wine. 75-mile radius of Boston, or you come to our kitchen!
A special acoustic house concert to you. This will feature a small, Debo-related side project; you’ll recognize our music and will love the new format. NOTE: You pay our travel costs if over 75-mile radius of Boston.
Private performance, catered to your event! Within 75-mile radius of Boston, or pledger pays our travel. We play all types of parties where dancing is a must: weddings, birthdays, and fundraisers.