Next Ambiance / Sub Pop would like to welcome Debo Band to the family as we are releasing their forthcoming S/T album on July 10. The band has won raves for their groundbreaking take on Ethiopian pop music (think Ethiopiques), which incorporates traditional scales and vocal styles, alongside American soul and funk rhythms, and instrumentation reminiscent of Eastern European brass bands — accordion, violins, horns and drums. 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.
The band has a handful of festival performances, which include: March 16 at SXSW for both globalFEST and Sub Pop’s label showcase; April 26-28 in Lafayette, Louisiana at Festival International de Louisiane; and April 29 in New Orleans, LA at the Jazz & Heritage Festival. Full tour dates listed below.
More About Debo Band
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.
What people are saying about Debo Band
“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
“A different archival impulse paid off for Debo Band, a Boston group devoted to the Ethiopian funk of the late 1960s and ’70s: fierce, jagged, complex and galvanizing music. With a beefy horn section, biting violins and a lead singer with a convincing Ethiopian quaver, the group brought back a live version of a style that was never recorded as vividly.” – The New York Times
“The Boston-based band Debo Band gives the psychedelic music heard on the Ethiopiques collections a high-spirited revamp.” – Village Voice
“Buda Musique opened a door to the strange, foreign-yet-familiar music of Ethiopia to world music fans across the world, delighted by the mixture of classic funk, Arabic-sounding scales, and trance-like African grooves. Boston’s excellent Debo Band has become standard bearers for the Ethiopian sound on our shores.” – WNYC
“If George Clinton had come from Ethiopia instead of outer space, the result might have been what Debo Band gives you.” – Boston Globe
Mar. 16 – Austin, TX – Red 7 / Sub Pop SXSW showcase (early)
Mar. 16 – Austin, TX – Speakeasy / globalFEST SXSW showcase (late)
Apr. 26 – Lafayette, LA – Festival International de Louisiane
Apr. 28.- Lafayette, LA – Festival International de Louisiane
Apr. 29. – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival