Debo Band Hits Ethiopian Groove

Debo Band (Courtesy Debo Band)

Debo Band performing with their Ethiopian dancers (Courtesy Debo Band)

Debo Band calls itself a nod to the big bands of the 1930s-70s that flourished under Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

But then, Debo band goes several steps further.

Melding traditional East African polyrhythms, classic American soul and funk, and the layered instrumentation of Eastern European brass bands, to form a sound that is a jubilant reinvention of music that once rocked Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

Debo Band (Amael Tesfaye)

Debo Band (Amael Tesfaye)

I recently sat down with Debo Band’s founder, Danny Mekonnen. We talked about how a band born in the loft spaces and church basements of Boston is making its way back to Africa.



Other stories from this show:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.

Host Meghna Chakrabarti introduces us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and brings us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

  • Listen: Weekdays, 3 p.m. on 90.9 FM
  • Live Call-In: (800) 423-TALK
  • Listener Voicemail: (617) 358-0607
Most Popular
This site is best viewed with: Firefox | Internet Explorer 9 | Chrome | Safari