Artist Profiles: Debo Band

Debo Band – Photo by Shawn Brackbill

Debo Band is a Boston-based Ethiopian music collective led by Ethiopian-American jazz saxophonist Danny Mekonnen, featuring Bruck Tesfaye on vocals. The group explores the music that was popular in Addis Ababa in  the 1960s and 70s. Danny was fascinated by the combination of contemporary American soul and funk music, traditional East African polyrhythms and pentatonic scales and the instrumentation of Eastern European brass bands.

Debo Band attracts audiences from both mainstream American and Ethiopian American communities. They have opened for legendary Ethiopian greats such as Tilahun Gessesse and Getatchew Mekuria.

Debo’s instrumentation includes horns, strings and accordion, influenced by the big bands of Haile Selassie’s Imperial Bodyguard Band and Police Orchestra as well as modern Ethiopian music.


Flamingoh (CRC Edition, 2010)
Debo Band (Next Ambiance 201
Ere Gobez (FPE Records, 2016)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.


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